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Archive for August, 2013

1. I am feeling more energetic. Apparently, as Susie mentioned in the comments, recovery time is now a Thing I need to pay attention to. And while climbing the Incline was fun and rewarding it also knocked me out for about a week. Ok! Noted! 

2. Erin commented on the last post that she is – from the vantage point of the first trimester – amazed at my activity level. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ERIN, you’re great, but no. The first trimester is a time for sleeping and feeling terrible and letting days and weeks go by with no activity if you need to. Second trimester is where it is AT for pregnant working out. I do remember working out in the first tri but it was always unscheduled, at the whim of how I was feeling (early AM workouts were seemed non existent for a few weeks because of the unisom), and just… I just did what I could, when I could. It was far from impressive, but I felt so terrible I don’t remember caring much. (“Much” is a really key phrase, there.) Somewhere around week 12 or 13 I started to really feel more like myself and get back into it, which was a much needed boost to my mood and took me from “How on earth do people stay pregnant for almost an entire YEAR feeling like this and OMG this will be an only child, FOR REAL” to “Oh! This isn’t that bad! Actually it’s kind of even ok! Neat! Babies for everyone!”

You’ll be fine, is what I’m saying. Go take a nap and wake up when you’ve hit your second trimester. It will be better. And, for what it’s worth, I had been worried that my relative inactivity in the first trimester would mean it would be harder to get back into in the second trimester; I didn’t notice this to be the case, happily. You’ll be ok. Sleep. It’s fine. This feeling is temporary.

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So, a few years ago I sent the following email to my cousin in LA: 

“My dog got into a fight with a coyote outside my front door and I’m wearing jeggings from Target, so yeah, I’d say the move to suburban Colorado is going OK”
 
And you know, all kidding aside, the move to Colorado IS going Ok. Better than, even. (I love that there is wilderness for my dog to romp in; those jeggings from Target were, frankly, totally awesome.) It’s absolutely different than living in the middle of a city, but it’s become more and more clear to me and us that that the ‘different’ is also ‘better’. Colorado fits our family very well, and as long as I can keep my career momentum up and moving – which, so far so good – I suspect we’ll be here for quite a while. 
 
Things ARE different, however. Example: This past weekend we went up to the Crested Butte area to get away and celebrate Mike’s birthday. Mike took advantage of the steps-away river to do many hours of fly fishing, and since our dog has not really embraced the concept that fly fishing is a solo sport – or, at the very least, a sport not aided by him splashing around – I decided to take the pup to one of the trailheads nearby and do a little hiking. 
 
Now, we were fairly deep into the middle of nowhere. Crested Butte is five hours out of Denver, and we were 20 miles out of Crested Butte, so there was basically river and national forest land, and not much else. Which is my way of saying: given that I’ve encountered bears and mountain lions walking around my suburban home, it seemed likely there would be wildlife encounters hiking around the middle of nowhere, especially during bear season. So. The smart thing to do, of course, was bring a gun. Which is how I found myself with my .45 clipped to the waistband my running shorts, straining ever so slightly against my 26 weeks pregnant belly:
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City Liz did not have a side holster. Or a .45. Or consider using either one of them (“I do not have a gun, let alone many guns, that would necessitate an entire RACK”). But City Liz also didn’t get to go hiking in Gunnison National Forest, which, frankly, is too bad for her.
 
(Side story re guns (I’m sure I’ve told this before?): When Mike deployed in 2008 we put all his stuff in storage and I subletted a tiny apartment from a friend so that I could live off just my salary and we could bank Mike’s pay, saving for the home we eventually bought. During one of our Skype conversations while he was deployed, we somehow started talking about guns and I mentioned: “Yeah, I don’t know how i feel about having guns in the house” and he goes “Well, there’s two under your bed right now, so I’d figure it out pretty quickly. [pause] Don’t you EVER clean?”)
 
(I *do* clean, JUST NOT UNDER THE BED WHO DOES THAT)
 
Anyway! So, yeah, as noted above, I’m about 26 weeks pregnant. (Maybe more. I don’t know: my doctors and I disagree on my due date by about 5 days, so they always think I’m about a week more pregnant than I am, and depending on how pregnant I feel on any given day I agree with them or not.) Anyway ANYWAY: It would appear that 26 weeks is when the wheels COMPLETELY FALL OFF THE WAGON w/r/t pregnancy activity. LAST week, my friend Laurel was in town and thought a fun way to celebrate her third trimester would be to hike the Incline. (The Incline: a mile trek up a mountain that used to be an old rail car route. The rail car is gone; the tracks remain. It is about 2000 feet in elevation gain in that mile, and then there is a four mile switch back trail on the back side of the mountain to get down.) And you know what? It WAS fun! We had a great time, made it up the mountain and down the switch back and felt great. Granted, it was SLOW, much slower than the other times I’ve climbed it (“other times” = once. I’ve climbed it one other time), but all in all it was a nice day and I loved catching up with an old friend and talking pregnancy and fitness and totally felt like myself, just a bit more lumbery. 
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Flash forward to the hike mentioned above, just a week later: I found myself out in the woods with my dog and my gun and thinking “What the hell? Why am I out here just WALKING? You know what what I’d rather be doing? SITTING. And NOT WALKING. MOVING IS HARD. THIS IS STUPID.
 
So. We turned back after a few miles and went back to the house, where I did this for the next many hours: 
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And yes, I know that activity is good for the baby, but you know what else is good? Literacy. Literacy is good for the baby.
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(Speaking of that book: it was lovely, and I do recommend it, HOWEVER: I think I am too pregnant to have read it. It tells you right up front this is a story about a Jewish girl from Austria in 1938 who is sent to live in England as a housemaid because, well, you know: Jewish girl. Austria. 1938. And while it is a nice little love story and period piece and it gets very Downton Abby-esq, there’s also, you know… parents sending their children to opposite ends of the globe in order to avoid the horrific war that is coming! Promising them they’ll all meet up when in fact they know they probably won’t! Siblings ripped away from each other! Parents with no way to contact their kids! GAH! I’m not entirely sure why I thought a Jewish family in a World War Two themed story would end up with a happy ending (spoiler: …no), but nevertheless I found myself ugly crying at the end, all WAR IS HECK OMG. Having said ALL THAT, it *is* a good story and I did enjoy it, just… maybe not so much while pregnant, is the thing.)
 
Anyway. Maybe 26 weeks is the beginning of the end for pregnancy working out, maybe I’m just tired and needed to take a break. Who knows. We’ll see how tomorrow goes, and the day after that, etc. In the meantime, imagine me near a river in the woods, with my man and my dog, happy as I’ve ever been. It’s a good life, ya know?
 

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I’ve been getting a lot of questions about working out lately, so I thought I’d document what the current routine looks like for me, both in answer and also so I can look back in three weeks and laugh about how great everything felt as I fall ass first into the rapidly expanding dent on my couch.

(A word about the questions: I find these range from the supportive “How are you feeling? Has it changed your running/xfitting?” to “So … what exactly are you doing, anyway?” or “You’re not … doing that stuff, right?” Some of these questions come with an air of assumption that can be easy to interpret as “this questioner feels I am so vain that I am more concerned about staying in shape than the health of my baby.”
And that hurts, right, because it’s always friends who are asking, and I don’t really want my friends to see me as someone who is so one track minded about physical fitness that it’s easy to assume I haven’t done any research or considered if it’s safe to workout while pregnant. But whenever I find myself starting to get all het up about (“how DARE they imply THAT”), I eventually land back on the “It’s not me it’s them” theory of self preservation. Body image, fitness, nutrition – all this stuff is intensely personal and wrapped up in individual issues that are very specific to a given questioner.
Someone thinking my working out is motivated purely by how I want to look is similar to me asking someone how they can be a member of the Catholic church given their stance on homosexuality. The asking of it assumes that I’m talking to someone who sees being a member of the Catholic church the same as being a member of a political party, and ignores all the ways religion encompasses an individual’s sense of self. It’s not a wrong question to ask, if we’re talking about politics, but that’s the not the conversation both people are having when you’re talking about religion. might be talking about politics, but the Catholic I’m talking to is hearing a question about their greater belief system, one that goes much deeper than policy.
That’s a long way and not great way of saying: I find that people who see fitness as a means to a clothing size end tend to see my fitness in the same way. Which is neither good nor bad, but we’re not having the same conversation. I want to remain active for a multitude of reasons all relating to who I am and the type of life I want to have, and only part of that is jean size. When I look at the day’s crossfit workout, what I’m considering is if the workout on tap for the day is something I can do while pregnant, or if today would be a better day to swim or hike, because getting up and doing something is important to me, and not just because buying all new clothes a few sizes up would be a huge chafe.)
(Did that sound defensive enough? I feel that with a few more edits I could make it even more so.)
ANYWAY. THIS WEEK IN PREGNANT WORKING OUT:
Monday:
Woke up and saw this Crossfit workout:
For time:
21 Overhead squat 95/65
42 Pull-ups
15 Overhead squat
30 Pull-ups
9 Overhead squat
18 Pull-ups
Now, I loooooooooooooove overhead squats. They are my favorite of all lifts. And I love pull-ups, because I still, all these years later, think it’s cool that I can even do pull-ups. But I was super tired Monday morning, and you guys, that looks like a LOT of pull-ups. I bagged this workout and took the dog to my favorite near by trail system, where we ran the flats and downhills and hiked (that sounds better than “walked”, so) the inclines. Our normal route takes about 40 minutes, give or take, and I must say, Colorado in the summer is basically perfection, what with it’s “60 degrees and brisk” mornings.
 
Tuesday

Woke up to this crossfit workout:

Strength

Hang Power Cleans
3-3-3-3-3

WOD – 10-9-8-7-6

KB Swings 53/35#
* Run 200m after every round

Yes, PLEASE. This type of thing has become my favorite type of pregnancy crossfit: some dedicated lifting with a short little workout after. Kettlebell swings are still comfortable for me to do, and for the strength stuff I tend to go about 70-80% less than I would normally do.

I also had my pre-natal yoga series Tuesday night (birthday present from Mike!) , which is great because it it’s enforced stretching, which I need, and also because it’s a community of women all in similar states of pregnancy, which I ALSO need, but is gentle enough that I’m not sure I consider it a workout.

Wednesday:

Crossfit:

2K Row

50 Med Ball Toss 10/9’ @ 20/14#
1 Mile Run

Dude, whatever. I hit the trails again with the dog. (If Crossfit looks like a mostly cardio day, I’d just as soon run in the woods, ya know?)

Thursday:

Alarm (and by alarm I mean DOG) went off at the usual 4:30am and I didn’t even bother checking the crossfit workout. I was TIRED, yo. Fed the pooch (he has no snooze feature so it’s best to just feed him and go on with life) and went back to sleep. Got up around 7am, took him for a short walk in the hood, dragged myself to work.  Walked the dog again after work and then hit the neighborhood pool for a 1500 meter swim (3 x 500 of slow and steady). Swimming, for all it’s incredible ass pain w/r/t logistics, is truly awesome in its ability to make me feel AMAZING. Was so, so tired most of Thursday but then felt great post-swim. This, by the way, is a lesson I relearn after EVERY SINGLE SWIM, and only after torturing myself with 30 minutes of “ugh, I don’t wanna GOOO” even though I’ve been a swimmer for years.

Friday:

Crossfit:

3 Rounds

20 Deadlift 135/95#
10 HSPU (Hand stand push ups)
*Rest 1 minute”

3 Rounds:
15 Shoulder to Overhead 135/95#
45 Double Unders (100 Singles)
*Rest 2 minutes*

3 Rounds:
10 Front Squats 135/95#
2 Rope Climbs

Ok, so this is a good crossfit workout for pregnancy, but requires a handful of modification. I dropped the weight on the lifts, obviously – down to 65lbs from 95lbs. My handstand push-ups were more “go into a handstand and flex your elbows” and less “actually lower your head to the ground” (this was for SAFETY and also I can’t actually do a handstand push up. But mostly safety, OKAY?). Also skipped the rope climbs, opting instead to do 10 pull-ups for each round.

Took around 20 minutes and was hard, but not exhausting. I did not feel spent or wiped out at the end, which was my goal – I’m not trying to do these workouts as quickly as possible, but more just get through the movements.  In retrospect I could have maybe gone up in weight a bit, for a ‘better’ workout, but I think that’s how I’m ‘suppose’ to feel to know I’m scaling them correctly.

Anyhoo. That is This Week in Pregnant Working Out. Mike and Sammy get home Sunday ( in case you’re curious, I’m like 80% on checking the mail everyday WHAT WHAT), and I expect as a consequence I’ll have less motivation to go to bed early enough to have enough energy for a daily morning workout, but we’ll see. I hope I’m able to sustain most of the schedule, for as long as I can, see above re things that make me happy, working out.

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