16.2 + 16.3

That cough knocked me down for an entire week. Every time I tried to lay down at night, I’d end up coughing the ENTIRE night. After five days, that equated to total delirium of not sleeping + bruised ribs, I went to the doctor and got some heavy-duty cough syrup.

16.2a

Two days after getting some solid sleep, I tackled a scaled 16.2 to manage 174 reps. I squeaked out one last rep just as the clock was buzzing. Was pretty proud of myself considering I got to eight minutes and it was a total lung-burner.

16.2

My 16.2 cheerleaders

16.3

Last week, I was still nursing my bruised ribs. I did a few of the 21-Day Fix workouts at home and Friday, I completed 16.3-scaled. I never strategize before I do a WOD (though I should!); had I done some calculations before, I would have gone for seven rounds + reps. Instead, I took too many breaks and did six rounds + six reps, for a total score of 96.

Here’s hoping for more time at CrossFit Full Strength this next week!

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Six-week Challenge: Week 4

It was a good week of workouts and weather in Phoenix! We spent a lot of time outdoors, enjoying the 80+ degree weather.

My favorite running buddy

My favorite running buddy

This handsome, furry fella and I managed a two mile run to kick off the week. I haven’t hit the pavement for a run since October and it felt great! Frankie was in heaven. Really, anytime he gets some solo time with Chad or me, he’s in heaven. He’ll always be the first “born!”

Happy Valentine's Day + Getting a jump start on St. Paddy's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day + Getting a jump start on St. Paddy’s Day!

Thursday, the hubs had an early morning and I couldn’t stand to wake this hamball to make the Thursday CFFS Challenge WOD. I had every intention to make the evening session and then LIFE. So glad I got that run in earlier in the week!

I was solo in the Friday morning class – as in no other ladies showed up – boo! Selfishly, it was nice to have some very personal attention from CrossFit Full Strength’s Olympic Weightlifting pro {She’s been the the Olympics three times!}. Can you say, badass?!

***

Tuesday morning

Tuesday morning

Tenth WOD: worked on hang power snatch (65#) for two rounds / 3 sets; metcon: 3 rounds 5 hang power snatches (55#) + 10 lunges each leg + 30 singles jumping rope + 1 minute rest between rounds: 7:29

Eleventh WOD: skipped!

Front squat. 100#

Front squat. 100#

Twelfth WOD:  snatch – full and power snatch. My equilibrium was off for the full power snatches. Stuck to 55# to work on form. Front squat – ended with 100# for 5. metcon: 21-15-9 thrusters (55#) + ring rows: 7:15

***

Valentine’s Day:

All you need is love ... and CrossFit.

All you need is love … and CrossFit.

The OPEN

games.crossfit.com

games.crossfit.com

I officially registered for the 2016 CrossFit Games Open and got this cool badge to prove it. I’m wanting to make a comeback in my CrossFit journey … and hoping I survive.

Join me!

Registration is $20. You can sign up with an affiliate or video yourself doing the WODs at home. And there are all levels of performance: Teen, Master, Veteran, Rookie, Military, Six-in-Row (aka badass!), SCALED, First Responder.

The Open is a fun time to see where you stack up. Yes, you can absolutely get crazy competitive and shoot for Regionals. But the vast majority of us sign up for the camaraderie, the commitment, the fun. Looking forward to pushing myself on the competition floor with my fellow CrossFit Full Strength friends starting February 25.

Athlete Profile: Julie Shepard

RedTail CrossFit in Prescott, Ariz., is home to Julie Shephard, another #crossfitandpregnant rock star. Sweet Julie delivered her second baby in October and I was remiss in writing this profile on her in a timely fashion!

View More: http://molliecostleyphotography.pass.us/babyboyshepherd

Momma to Charlotte and now, sweet Joseph, and wife to Steven, she has been CrossFitting at RedTail for three years. During that time, Julie has endured some difficult pregnancies and a knee surgery. Her CrossFit career started thanks to good old family peer pressure – and with the support of her husband – nothing better than family to get you to focus on health! Because of some of her struggles to get pregnant, Julie didn’t CrossFit during her pregnancy with Charlotte, but she and Steven are proud of her ability this go-around. So are we!

Julie’s story really is remarkable – and she’s quite open with her struggles. She is another shining example of why I continue this blog (even with a long writing hiatus!). Thank you loyal followers for continue to support me and all the #crossfitandpregnant mommas out there!

shepherd party of 4

Julie’s story:

What does your spouse/partner think of you CrossFitting during pregnancy? My husband, Steven, is a CrossFitter too and thinks it is awesome.  He actually texted me out of nowhere while he was at work to tell me how proud of me he is for still going consistently and for doing so well. {What a guy!!}

How did you find crossfitandpregnant.com?  I actually googled “CrossFit and pregnancy” because I had read an article on Facebook about a woman pregnant with twins. She posted a picture of her lifting a barbell weighing 65# and was getting TONS of criticism for it.  I was thought, “what?? I just back squatted 115# that day!” So I was curious if there was any information out there for me.  And also, at the time, my little guy had a growth spurt and I was really starting to feel ‘pregnant’.

Why I started CrossFit:  I started CrossFit, well, mainly out of peer ‘family’ pressure. Both my sisters and one of my brothers had started when our first box opened in Prescott. I had just been running A LOT…five miles a day, five days a week.  I was put off wanting to start because I had it in my mind that I just needed cardio.

I have an autoimmune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and suffer with hypothyroidism, which is why I had a hard time getting pregnant the first time. I ended up having my thyroid removed in 2007 because I had a nodule the size of a golf ball growing on it. Up until then, I had always been super thin and always physically minded.  But once that darn thyroid was removed, weight gain came, along with other crappy symptoms.  Losing weight and having hypothyroidism is like trying to breathe under water.  So I ran.  I ran a lot.

After recovering from a breast reduction in 2012, which was a medical necessity for my spine, I finally gave in to CrossFit…and fell in love.  Shortly after starting CrossFit, I had a really bad accident climbing the military wall. My right knee snapped in half when I went to step up to the wall. I ended up with a torn meniscus, completely torn ACL and a partially torn MCL and a fractured femur. Needless to say, I was out of commission for a long while, June to November 2012.  It was during that time that my husband and I began trying for a baby.

Flash forward to March of 2013, I got pregnant! I quit CrossFit because of fear for losing the baby.  My mother and sister both struggled with infertility and I was just plain scared. After Charlotte was born in December 2013, I went back to CrossFit in March of 2014 and have not stopped since.  I have not been able to perform 100% since then, I have also suffered with a bulging disc in my lumbar vertebrae due to the terrible positioning of Charlotte in my belly (I had a c-section, her shoulder was stuck under my rib).  But that didn’t stop me.  I did what I could.  When I finally found a doctor who could help, I had an MRI and began spinal decompression. He told me that if it weren’t for my ‘huge’ para-spinal muscles (that I got from CrossFit) holding my spine in place, the disc would have ruptured.

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is:  This is a big one! I did not CrossFit while pregnant with Charlotte out of fear.  But this pregnancy came all by itself…well with the help of my husband…after only one month of trying.  No medication, no nothing.  So, this time I wasn’t scared.

With Charlotte, I gained 30#, most of which came in the last month and was all water.  After two weeks of having her, I was back down to my normal 150#.  So I got a little ‘cocky’ and started eating whatever I wanted during those six weeks of recovery.  Since it was winter, I wasn’t able to go on walks because it was too cold outside. I got pretty dang chubby.

IMG_4859 FullSizeRender (12) FullSizeRender (9) FullSizeRender (4)

Like I said before, losing weight with hypothyroidism is like trying to breathe under water. With running, CrossFit, a clean diet, visits to my endocrinologist and a lot of bloodwork and medication adjustment, it took about a year to lose the ‘cocky’ weight I had gained. Literally to the WEEK that I found out I was pregnant again. So my goal is to be the complete opposite with this pregnancy. Healthy eating, exercise, and routine with hopes I can go right back in to it after the six weeks of recovery from my scheduled c-section.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?  My doctor is awesome.  She is the tiniest little lady. She told me to keep doing what I was doing, but to listen to my body. I have done just that. During my second trimester, we did maxes, and although I knew that I could physically do more, I didn’t feel good about adding weight.  She thinks it’s awesome, despite the fact that I lost weight at the beginning from not lifting as much and losing muscle mass. As of today, I am back to my ‘pre-pregnancy’ weight.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support?  I find support from the people that come to my class. I go to RedTails’ 3:30 p.m. class, which is after nap time…both Charlotte’s and my nap.  It’s usually the same group of ladies…yes…ladies…they call it lady hour.  Occasionally, a guy or two shows up! But the group really cheers me on. They encourage me and compliment me on the fact that I am still working at it and it makes me feel really good about myself.  Also, RedTail Coaches Tony Burris, Janine Pereira, and Brandon Rollins support me tons.  And of course, my husband Steven.

FullSizeRender (7) FullSizeRender (15)

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration?  My inspiration comes from two places; my daughter and myself.  My daughter because I love seeing her watching me while I work out; I really hope she understands that it is a good thing and a part of life to work hard for something.  And of course, I love seeing her imitate the things she sees me do!

Saying I find inspiration in me seems super arrogant, but it is not meant to be.  A lot of people criticize CrossFit because it is so intense.  I tell them that anything can be scaled.  I remind them that I had a bulging disk and had knee surgery, and it didn’t stop me from trying.  I say, if I can do it, anyone can.  I am even trying to talk my 64-year-old father, who just had his second knee replaced to start, once he is cleared from physical therapy.  So I figured that I should put my money where my mouth is….why should pregnant stop me from something that I love?  I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I finish something.  A lot of times, the trainers tell me to cut the reps in half if I want to, but I don’t. I just take my time and that makes me feel validated.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned:  Consistency.  Having an 18-month-old and an awful first trimester (was in the ER for a day from extreme dehydration), every day is something new. Even when I felt like complete death, I still made it a point to get up and go to CrossFit and make it part of my day. That mindset made it a routine! I think that is important in all aspects of life.

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced:  My expanding belly, the lack of decent maternity exercise clothing, and running with sore boobs.  {Sore/nursing boobs = the worst! Am I right?!}

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?  Before this pregnancy, I tried gluten free to help with my hypothyroidism, but it didn’t make much of a difference.  I did my best to eliminate processed foods as well.  I am a sucker for fruit and vegetables. I stopped drinking soda, too.  But once the morning sickness hit me, I was advised to eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it (which was not much and not often). Now, I am just back to normal.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered:  You can sleep when you’re dead. Get up and work, make the best of the exhaustion.

FullSizeRender (14) FullSizeRender (6)

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: Being aware of my body. I find it incredible to push your body to see what it is capable of, but with limits.

Modifications you’d like to share with others:  Ball slams are a fabulous replacement of burpees.  Elevated pushups. Oh, and this one isn’t just for pregnancy, but cleans from a high hang, a bit lower than the hips.  It helps you HAVE to drop under the bar in to a squat more. {Excellent tips!!}

Favorite quote:  Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.

Favorite girl WOD: Grace

Three words that describe me: I let my hubs pick:  motivated, determined, passionate

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: At home or with my mom! Weekends are with the husband.

View More: http://molliecostleyphotography.pass.us/joseph

Delivery and Post-partum. Where is Julie now?

Julie CrossFitted until 37 weeks, when she had to stop for her scheduled c-section (docs in Prescott don’t perform v-backs).  She was scheduled for the birth on October 23. She developed an umbilical hernia that was getting pretty painful and her doctor said she would fix it during the c-section. Contractions started two weeks before the c-section. “I had some other things going on, so I figured I should just try to wait it out, so another doctor wouldn’t have to do my c-section and NOT fix my hernia which would have resulted in another surgery and recovery,” Julie said. “I didn’t want that.”

She made it to October 23 and it was completely different than her first delivery. “I threw up from the spinal which didn’t happen with Charlotte,” said Julie. “I could feel and move my feet by noon, my c-section was at 7:30 a.m. I was up walking laps in the hospital by 3 p.m. that day, but that night was awful. My husband went home to stay with Charlotte, so I was on my own. I was looking forward to the alone time with my baby and to sleep some. I was hooked up to all sorts of things and couldn’t get out of bed without a nurse. There was some emergency birth that night and all the nurses were occupied – to the point where my IV beeped for more than 10 minutes before I had to call someone to fix it. AWFUL. I got zero sleep and every time Joseph woke up, I had to MacGyver a way to get him out of his bassinet.”

Thanks to the grace of a compassionate nurse, and because of Julie’s health, strength, and mobility, Julie was permitted to go home. “I’m pretty sure I can thank CrossFit for that,” said Julie.

She took the traditional six weeks to recovery, but like most of us, was anxious to return. The first week of December, she started back and took it easy, “partially because I was told to, but mostly because I felt I had zero strength.” Most recently, RedTail was working on one-rep maxes for a number of lifts. Julie PR’d on power cleans at 120#, 85# strict press, 75# snatch, and she got to do Grace again, not Rx, but still 75# at 4:57. “I’ll take that at being back from having a baby via c-section and a hernia repair in only a month and a half!”

“I am glad to be back. I love my sweet little baby more than anything. We just found out that he has problems hearing this past week. We aren’t sure how severe or why, we are going to do some more testing, and today was my first day back since finding out.  I broke down crying talking to my friends about it.  I am so thankful for the support I have at RedTail. There were times during my pregnancy that I wanted to quit (not CrossFit, but life).  The RedTail community and mentality of CrossFit truly was my lifeline, and it seems that it will continue to be that for me.”

Pic with new Char faceView More: http://molliecostleyphotography.pass.us/joseph

We are so proud of you Julie! She clearly has the strength and tenacity to face anything. Her family and the RedTail family are lucky to have YOU. xo

Hitting the reset button

After a long break from CrossFit {and blogging!}, I reentered the box last week. While I’m struggling to sit down after three intense days, I’m thrilled to be back.

Team Leatherman at Thanksgiving, 2015

Team Leatherman at Thanksgiving, 2015

While I wasn’t CrossFitting, I did manage to get back to my happy weight. It took 16 months and I finally managed to shed that weight thanks to the 21-Fix program. The combination of at-home workouts (that were actually breath-taking) with the easy-to-follow nutrition guidelines were exactly what I needed to get my body back. {I didn’t do the shakes – just portion control and the 30-minute WODs.} It was also nice to do something different and that fit into my schedule.

But I did miss CrossFit!

Check out CFFS!

Check out CFFS!

To get back to CrossFit, I recently signed up for CrossFit Full Strength‘s all-women six week challenge. CrossFit Full Strength is one of the oldest affiliates in Phoenix and it recently expanded into a new space. Everyone I’ve met is friendly, approachable and supportive. And the coaches are killer; they have a combined 30+ certs. Exactly what you should expect when joining a CrossFit affiliate!

The six week challenge is a collection of women at ALL fitness levels and includes an information-packed paleo challenge. Four time Regional competitor and owner of CrossFit Full Strength Gayle Shalloo-Davenport understands that many women don’t love working out with men – especially in such a perceived competitive environment. She’s found the groups provide the perfect foundation for CrossFit. The box also offers all-men challenges, too.

***

CrossFit Full Strength

CrossFit Full Strength

First Week of WODs:

Baseline – 500m row, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups (I used the green band): 7:08

Second WOD – 10 to 1 deadlifts (85#) + pike burpees: 7:29

Third WOD – 3 rounds 250m row, 10 thrusters (55#), 2 min. rest in between rounds: 12:45

***

On another note, I have a number of athlete profiles in the pipeline. Stay tuned! Thanks again for your continued following and sharing.

xo

Barbells for Boobs

b4b

More than 20 years ago, my Aunt Mary “Mimi” was diagnosed with breast cancer. With the support of her family and friends, she beat it and has had a successful remission. Not everyone is as lucky.

Meghan & Mimi

Meghan & Mimi

To honor her brave fight and the fight of so many women and men, I’m raising money for early detection education and participating in the CrossFit Barbells for Boobs WOD (Workout of the Day) on Oct. 17 at Back Alley CrossFit. The WOD is called “Grace,” which is 30 clean and jerks for time. My attempted weight and time will be announced this week.

Please help me support Barbells for Boobs by making a donation through my page. Even a small donation will help me achieve my goal. The process is fast, easy, and secure. If you donate and would like your donation to honor someone, I’ll gladly temporarily tattoo their name or favorite saying on my legs or arms … so let’s get my skin covered!

Thanks so much for your support.

Meghan

Athlete Profile: Katie Rounds

image

Katie Rounds and I met at Back Alley CrossFit in Phoenix, Ariz. She’s a smart, successful woman with two beautiful girls and an equally successful husband, Cody. They are expecting baby number three and unlike the first two, the gender is a surprise for this little one.

Katie started CrossFitting in March of 2012, at the persistence of Cody and one of her best friends, Katy. Katy and Cody were working out in Katy’s back alley garage. Subsequently, Katy and Cody now own Back Alley CrossFit with two other partners. A bit serendipitous, wouldn’t you say?

Katie and her family

Katie and her family

Katie is due in June and has consistently CrossFitted during her third pregnancy. Here are her thoughts on the experience:

Why I started CrossFit: While I have always loved working out and have been a member at a gym since I was old enough to join, CrossFit wasn’t an easy sell for me at first. I was very hesitant about the financial commitment, childcare options and convenience of locations and class schedules. My husband, Cody, and friend, Katy, convinced me to work out with them in Katy’s back alley garage to see what it was all about and I obliged (it was really a stall tactic from agreeing to join a CrossFit gym). My “big box” gym membership was cancelled that same month and I can’t imagine my life without CrossFit in it now.

Kettlebell swings - prebump

Kettlebell swings – prebump

Other exercise practices: I grew up through school always participating in athletics (volleyball, swim, track and cheer). I also enjoy hiking during the cool Arizona months, but with two kiddos always in tow, CrossFit has been my primary source of exercise for the last two years.

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To maintain my pre-pregnancy workout level (with modifications of course….superman core work on the ground just isn’t an option with a belly!). With this being my third pregnancy, I understand how important it is for my body to sustain a strong core to help minimize the third trimester back pain always accompanies my pregnancies. With each of my prior pregnancies, I have gained more than 50 pounds, and this pregnancy is on track to be the same. Being a naturally smaller person in height and weight, this additional pressure on my back and hips has been intense; maintaining that strong core has been my only way to overcome this.

Overhead squats

Overhead squats

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor is very supportive, as this was an exercise practice that I had been doing pre-pregnancy. There was no “limit” set on my heart rate, but was instead told to listen to my body and respond accordingly.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? The community of the Back Alley CrossFit has been supportive and encouraging. Having several others in our gym that are pregnant and CrossFitting at the same time also helps for modification advice for certain workouts.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned: I’ve learned that many people who aren’t familiar with CrossFit can be quick to pass judgment that being pregnant and doing CrossFit “isn’t safe” or is “too intense.” Standing in my shoes and knowing what my limits were pre-pregnancy and what my limits are currently, I know that what I am doing is an incredibly healthy thing for my body and my pregnancy.

Handstand push ups

Handstand push ups

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: I am a very competitive person so it has been hard to force myself to step back, let others pass me and not push as hard as I typically would. Lifting lighter and slowing down has also allowed me to work on correcting form in areas that I may have been sacrificing before. I am hoping that being pregnant is kind of like working out with a weighted vest…once it comes off, everything that felt hard before will be much easier and I can finally beat Katy at something!

Katie and Katy - pre bump

Katie and Katy – pre bump

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? We have followed a partial paleo lifestyle through most of our years doing CrossFit. Throughout this pregnancy, we have done less paleo with the introduction more dairy and grains (and coffee almond Haagen dazs ice cream bars!). The kids certainly enjoy this change. Overall, even when we aren’t following a paleo lifestyle, we are still eating healthy and balanced meals.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Sit ups are still possible! I was doing regular CrossFit sit-ups until about six months pregnant, but when the belly started to get too much in the way, I used bands on the pull-up rig to hold onto and allow assistance up.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant? Besides the satisfaction and energy that comes after a CrossFit workout while pregnant, I know that my recovery post-baby will be so much easier and faster because of CrossFit.

Favorite quote: “There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

Favorite girl WOD: Cindy (20 min AMRAP- 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 squats). I like small batches of things that I can do over and over again.

Three words that describe me: Multi-tasker (but really good at delegating; ask my husband!), determined, organized

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Working full-time as senior development manager for a local real estate company, moonlighting as a wedding and lifestyle photographer for my photography company (Round Lens Photography), chauffeuring my two daughters around town to school, gymnastics, dance, t-ball, swim…you name it, we do it! Free time is a rare thing in the Rounds’ house but when we have it, I enjoy playing in the yard with the kids, taking naps all afternoon, catching up on good Netflix shows and extended shopping trips to Target without the kids!

Doesn't she look amazing?

Doesn’t she look amazing?