Returning to CrossFit

by Chase on August 6, 2014

Shortly after I got pregnant, I realized that I did NOT feel like going to any kind of workout, let alone CrossFit which is still, even 2 years later since I first started, the hardest workouts I know (well, maybe that at BODYATTACK — it just keeps getting harder!)  I told the owner of my box that I needed to freeze my membership until I was feeling better and he was very accommodating.  Now that my membership freeze has ended and I’m feeling a ton better than I was in June & July, I reactivated my membership and am going to try to go 2-3x per week.  I read up on what modifications need to be made for CrossFit during pregnancy and found an awesome resource at CrossFit Mom.  They even post daily WODs for beginner, intermediate and advanced CrossFit women who are in various stages of pregnancy.

One of the resources on the site shows the benefits of regular exercise for pregnant women including easier labor and quicker recovery.  Sign me up!

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Once upon a time I was on the box leaderboard for Fight Gone Bad!

The reality of returning to CrossFit is that even though CrossFit prides itself on being a program that will make you fit across all dimensions, pregnancy is not the time to focus on making gains, setting PRs, mastering muscle-ups and crushing your Fran time.  It’s a time to focus on keeping your body healthy, keeping your core strong (I mean low back and pelvic floor mainly) and mitigating a loss of fitness.

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Even though I had read a lot of resources online about exercise and pregnancy, before I started back, I asked my doctor at our last appointment what I could do when it came to working out.  She said: Do what you have been doing, for as long as it feels good.  Don’t allow yourself to get breathless, because if you’re not getting oxygen, baby’s not getting oxygen.   So that’s been my M.O. and here’s what I’m planning to do:

Disclaimer: For all readers, please consult your physician for personalized exercise recommendations, especially during pregnancy.  I am speaking only as to what works for me and this is not meant to be a list that is suitable for all persons. 

Exercises that are OK for me:
Squats: Air squats, back squats, overhead squats, front squats
Shoulders: Strict shoulder press, push press and maybe jerks but I think I’ll stop those sooner than later
Thrusters
Snatches: Single arm dumbbell snatches
Kettlebells: Kettlebell swings, kettlebell single-arm cleans
Wallballs
Deadlifts
Ring dips
Walking lunges
Rowing
Pullups

Exercises that I need to modify:
Box jumps – Swap for step-ups
Push-ups – I’m thinking maybe do pushups on low rings as my belly grows?  Sort of TRX style?
Cleans – As my belly grows, I’ll swap them out for dumbbells or kettlebells
Snatches – Same as cleans
Burpees – Swap for Squat Thrusts (not coming all the way to the floor and no jump)
Running – This will only last for so long, then I’ll switch to rowing.

Things I’m not even going to attempt – (I’ll probably swap those exercises out for something else altogether):
Handstand Pushups
Rope climbs – These can be modified in 1st and early 2nd trimester to be rope pull-ups from the ground, but I’m thinking late 2nd and 3rd trimester is out
Sit-ups: Abmat, GHD, wallball situps
Bench press – No lying flat on my back after 2nd trimester
Muscle-ups (Ha! I didn’t even have those pre-pregnancy)
Pistol Squats – I’m not great at these to begin with so, with my center of balance being thrown off, I’m going to pass on these.

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I started off back at CrossFit today with the 31 Heroes WOD.

The WOD as prescribed is:

“31Heroes”

In Teams of 2:
AMRAP 31 minutes (As Many Reps As Possible)
8 Thrusters (155/105#)
6 Rope Climbs (15 ft. ascent)
11 Box Jumps (30/24″)
*Teams of two, one buddy runs 400m with 45/25# plate

My partner and I did:

AMRAP 31
8 Thrusters 45#
6 Modified Rope climbs (I did floor rope pull ups)
11 Box Jumps 20″ (I did step ups)
400m Run carrying 10# or 15# plate

We made it through 10 rounds and I felt really, really, really great. On my first or second run (jog? I was pretty slow), I thought to myself just how fantastic I was feeling!  It felt so good to feel good enough to be back at it.  Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

I’m smart enough to admit that the next 5-6 months are not going to be like usual.  I won’t be setting PRs, I won’t be making the box leaderboard and I will be scaling a LOT.  But I’m committed to staying fit, keeping my baby healthy and doing as much as feels good on that particular day.  I’m not above mailing it in and sleeping or going for a walk when it just doesn’t feel right.

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First Trimester {Weeks 11-13}

by Chase on August 3, 2014

When I first found out I was pregnant, I just wanted to tell EVERYONE!  It was way too much for me to handle silently, so I blogged about my experiences and kept them as drafts to post after it was safe to share the news!  So, here’s a short trip down memory lane about my first trimester experiences.  This post wraps up the first trimester so my updates going forward will be in real time!

Week 11

True to form with the rest of the summer, no time to slow down!  This weekend, I drove up to NJ to attend Jen’s Bridal shower in North Jersey.  Driving 4 hours up and back in one day was too much for me, so I chose to stay at my Aunt’s house in South Jersey for the night to break up the drive home in half. I got to share the news with her and my cousins who were also there (it was my cousin’s son’s 3rd birthday party that day!) The fun part is that my due date is my Aunt’s birthday so maybe the baby will actually arrive on that day.

The next morning, my Aunt and my cousin and I lingered over tea until about 11am which was just what this busy mama wanted.  It’s so nice to have family that you love spending time with!

This week, I feel like I’m starting to see the light!  For the first time I can remember, I didn’t come straight home from work and crash on to the couch today.  Granted, I’m sitting here at the computer which isn’t much physical activity, but I don’t feel like all I want to do is curl up in a ball and go to sleep (which is definitely how I’ve been feeling over the last few weeks).  Plus, the nausea has largely subsided – I even felt hunger today for the first time in a while.  (Any other time I got hungry, it turned into nausea instead of hunger feelings).  Hopefully that means good things are ahead in the 2nd trimester.  I even ate vegetables today!

We have our next sonogram during week 12, so I’m not-so-patiently waiting for that day to come.  We’ve told a lot of family already, but we’ll do a big official announcement at some point after we know the sonogram goes well.

Workouts
Tuesday – Taught 45 min RPM
Friday – Taught 60 min RPM

What else
I poked around internet looking for some fun maternity workout shirts (CrossFit or Spinning) and let me tell you, there’s some really ridiculous/horrendous maternity and infant wear out there on the internet.

Knocked up by John (I assume you can customize it to your baby’s father’s name)

Knocked Up Maternity Tank Misses Relaxed Fit Basic Gildan Softstyle Tank Top

I tore mommy a new one

I Tore Mommy A New One Infant Rabbit Skins Lap Shoulder Creeper

Fetus by Cletus

Fetus By Cletus Maternity LA T Cotton Tee

Seriously?  Horrid.

Week 12

I gave up on finding cute workout stuff on the internet and just went ahead to the mall to buy some maternity clothes.  I tried to make do with one size up regular clothes but they were getting too tight and were very uncomfortable. I ended up with 4 pairs of work pants and 2 pairs of jeans which I really need for them to last the next 6 months. My rationale for 4 pairs of work pants and 2 pairs of jeans is that I will only have to do laundry once a week.  I got a few tops as well, but a lot of my pre-pregnancy tops still fit fine.  I know that will change but I’ll worry about that later on.

Workouts
I managed 3 workouts this week!  I feel like that’s a modern day record.  It’s that time of year when a lot of people are out of town for summer vacations, so I picked up a few sub opportunities.  I don’t like to teach that much because I have vocal chord nodules which get irritated, but once in a while is OK.    Since I’m feeling better, I hope to go back to CrossFit soon!
Wednesday – Taught 45 min RPM
Thursday – Taught 45 min RPM
Friday – Taught 60 min RPM

Appointments
THE SONOGRAM!!  We had a 12 week appointment this week and I was over the moon to be able to see our little peanut again! The first sonogram I had a 6 weeks, the baby was just a little tiny gray blob with a flickering heart.  This one, you could see everything!  Heartbeat, arms and legs moving, lobes of the brain, and fingers.  It was amazing!  I could have sat there forever watching the screen.

We opted to do some of the genetic testing, so this sonogram was related to the UltraScreen which consists of both a sonogram to do various measurements and blood work.  The results came back and the doctor said everything looked normal and we were good to go to share the news with a wider audience.

12 week sono

I could look at this picture all day.

Week 13

More wedding fun!! This weekend, I hosted the girls in Baltimore for Jen’s Bachelorette party.  I spent the first half of the summer planning this event, so I was SO EXCITED when the weekend finally arrived!

A smaller group of us went to a spa first for a day of pampering (I did a massage and a shampoo/blow-dry which was FANTASTIC) and in the evening, we met up at Jen’s house where the bus picked us up for an evening of dinner, drinks and dancing in downtown Baltimore. Jen and I first met about 10 years ago a when we belonged to the same gym in Cockeysville and she used to take my step classes.  A lot has changed since then but we’ve been great friends ever since!  She was in my wedding in 2012 and I’m so happy to be there for her in her wedding later this month.

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We had dinner at Fleet Street Kitchen in Harbor East, followed by drinks and dancing at Howl at the Moon at Power Plant (<—throwback to my college days!) and then later at Ouzo Bay and Gordon Biersch.  Ouzo Bay was much too crowded so we didn’t stay there very long since there wasn’t enough room for us to be comfortable as a large group.

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All in all, I think everyone had a great time – It probably worked out best that I wasn’t drinking so I could keep tabs on everyone and make sure everyone made it back to the bus to get us back home safely.  (Practicing my Mama Bear skills.)

We had a sleepover at Jen’s house and I brought bagels for everyone in the morning.  It was a fun, fun, fun weekend!

Workouts
Monday – 75 minute Open Flow yoga
Friday – Taught 60 min RPM

Symptoms
Not nearly as tired and queasiness has really let up, for this I am very grateful!  I do still get really worn out by the end of the week, but as long as I take it really easy on either Saturday or Sunday, I’ll usually catch up on sleep. Also grateful that other symptoms like constipation have seemed to pass me by.

Cravings
Thai Basil Coconut Soup.  I’m batty for this soup and still get it 2-3 times a week for lunch.  It’s just spicy enough, just creamy enough and has vegetables and protein.  Win-win!

What else
I joined a new Yoga Studio this week!  I was going to Spark Yoga in Clarendon, which I loved (try the Candelight Yoga on Monday nights with Sam- Awesome flow!) but Spark specializes in hot yoga which is off limits for this mama-to-be.  So I switched to a new studio which has normal temperature yoga and so far so good! My first class was just Open flow which was a wonderful medium-intensity Vinyasa.  The best part was that there were 2 instructors and while one instructor explained the poses and the alignments, the other instructor came around and did corrections and alignment tweaks.  She came around to me during pigeon and gently rubbed my shoulders and my spine and oh it felt so good!  There’s something about that massage+yoga combination.  I was a huge fan! (Clearly I’ll take massage pretty much in any form.)

So, that catches us up on the first trimester!  Depending on which school of thought you follow, the first trimester lasts until anywhere from the start of your last period to the 12th to the 14th week.  I’m currently in the middle of week 14.

Question: Mamas who have been there – what surprised you most about your first trimester?

xo,
Chase

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First Trimester {Weeks 7-10}

by Chase July 31, 2014

When I first found out I was pregnant, I just wanted to tell EVERYONE!  It was way too much for me to handle silently, so I blogged about my experiences and kept them as drafts to post after it was safe to share the news!  So, here’s a short trip down memory lane about my […]

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First Trimester {Weeks 4-6}

by Chase July 29, 2014

When I first found out I was pregnant, I just wanted to tell EVERYONE!  It was way too much for me to handle silently, so I blogged about my experiences and kept them as drafts to post after it was safe to share the news!  So, here’s a short trip down memory lane about my […]

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So, hey! I’m pregnant.

by Chase July 24, 2014

It’s definitely still a little weird saying that because I’ve pretty much spent the last 15 years trying NOT to get pregnant.  But I am. And we’re thrilled. Before all of this Did I ever mention that Jeff and I met on eHarmony?  We did.  Back in 2008, the way it all worked (I understand […]

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Popping in to say hi! And…

by Chase July 23, 2014

…to let you all know! More baby fun to follow! (In the meantime, can someone get me some saltines??)

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Life lessons from the lowest rung on the ladder

by Chase April 22, 2014

I recently found out that one of my oldest friends is pregnant with her third child and it’s a girl… just like her first two children.  She announced it on Facebook in the form of a reveal cake, and I commented on the photo: “Oh my word! Yay [family name]! I thought for sure it […]

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Callie’s Surgery

by Chase February 9, 2014

So, my sweet almost-13 year old puppy has cancer.  Her sweet signature Shiba curly tail had a tumor right at the base of the tail.  We had this happen once before and we had the tumor removed when we first found it in 2011, but it came back. We knew it could come back because […]

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Ruminations on Scarcity

by Chase January 3, 2014

I heard this fascinating news clip on Thursday about the concept of scarcity.  If you have 5 minutes, please do listen to it.  If you’re not in place where you can listen today, here is the gist: Not having enough money and not having enough time, might not seem like similar things, but psychologically, they […]

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Scenes from 2013

by Chase December 31, 2013
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