Post Partum: Weeks 12 and 13

Awesome week and finally made it to Back Alley in addition to yoga and walking. Feeling excellent! I’m attending the 101 classes twice a week. This is allowing me to ease back into it and minimize any scaling. I’m also still wearing my heart rate monitor to now gauge my capabilities without a baby.

Some things I’ve learned in my short three months as a momma:

1. CrossFit is the best way to start shedding that baby weight. Shouldn’t come as a surprise, I know, but after just two days, I can see and feel a difference.

2. The minute you don’t have clothing back-up, the baby will have a blow-out. Thanks little miss for christening my come back to the box with a blow-out mid-WOD. Glad you’re comfortable in just a diaper!

3. That being said, less really is more! All of the sudden my car is full of stuff – bags of returns, swimming gear, workout gear, library books, a stroller, dog gear – and our baby is only three months! We love the Skip Hop pronto changing station. We now have three because they are totally genius. I keep mine stocked with diapers, wipes, hand sanitizer, Advil, first aid kit, extra outfit. When out and about, I can easily just grab it to change her – in the car, in a random bathroom, at the box, etc. We have three because we keep one in each car and one with the stroller.

4. Drive-throughs are a mom’s best friend (and I don’t mean the McDonalds!). Thanks Starbucks for keeping me caffeinated and hydrated while I keep my baby sleeping in the back seat.

I’m sure it’s old news by now, but love that CrossFit HQ is finally giving some attention to all the awesome women out there who CrossFit while pregnant. Be sure to watch the latest video, if you haven’t already.

For a quick snack pre- or post-WOD, I recently made these no bake protein bites from HeandSheEatClean. Super simple to make and who can beat the no bake part?! I also made mine lactation friendly by adding in a tablespooon of brewer’s yeast. You can easily sub the peanut butter for almond butter for a more paleo-friendly option. YUM!

And we have been meeting the newest CrossFit babies! Both Katie and Sara delivered healthy, precious babes. Aren’t they darling?

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

With Katie and Baby Rounds at Back Alley

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

Meeting Baby Hillman at the hospital.

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Postpartum Weeks 10 and 11

As I mentioned in my previous post, my number one goal is to preserve my ability to make milk. However, I am equally eager to shed some of these added pounds in the next few months. This balance is a huge mental challenge, especially because I don’t like what I see in the mirror. I read a blog post by Blonde Ponytail on “Body after Baby,” which provides great tips, number five being the most important for me: BE PATIENT.

In the spirit of CrossFit’s constantly varied mentality, I have been working out slowly and strategically OUTSIDE the box. Yoga. Barre. Running. At home weight training. Easing my body back into it before I hit the big weights. Week 10 I managed some running and yoga. This week, I worked in a Barre class and managed to do something Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Not too shabby. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum and work in some higher intensity.

In the meantime, I’ve received some great questions from readers about my experiences while pregnant.

Did you increase [weight] during your pregnancy? My doctor said to stop lifting at seven months. I see you did not do that. I am no where near the weight you lift but did you decrease your weight the last few months? Yes, but I understand I’m an anomaly. My coach and I worked closely together to monitor this. But my body craved and thrived with bigger weights. I hit a number of PRs on a number of Olympic lift in my third trimester. As always, work closely with your doctor and coach before attempting this and LISTEN to your body.

After having your baby have you lifted weights? While traveling recently, I visited two boxes and did some Olympic lifts, but I haven’t been to my home box yet. I have done some free weights at home. I’m trying to balance a lot and I hurt myself around weeks 5/6 postpartum with a kettlebell workout, so I’m hypersensitive because of that.

I want to try to keep my core as strong as possible so it isn’t as rough getting my mid-line back in shape after the baby. I do a lot of planks, but do you have any other suggestions? During my pregnancy, my core modification was v-sits on the box. It was amazing for my mid-line post-baby and something I plan to do daily next baby. Planks are also great, especially if you can vary with side planks and leg or arm raises.

What things did you stay away from in the second and third trimesters? Again, do what makes you feel good and work with your coaches to determine modifications. What worked for me, might not work for you. With that said, here are the modifications I used:

  • Once I started to put on weight, I couldn’t do pull-ups (that isn’t a strength of mine and something I was working on prior to my pregnancy). I subbed with ring rows.
  • I avoided inversions, but I know previously featured athletes Sara and Katie had no problems with handstand walks and push-ups. Coach & I subbed in something else entirely for me here.
  • Sit-ups became v-sits on the box (though I did sit-ups longer than some of the other athletes thought I should have. I probably could have gone longer, but I let them get in my head.
  • Push-ups became problematic third trimester because of my protruding belly, so I worked on push-ups on the wall.
  • I slam my body during burpees; in the first and second trimester, I subbed with push-ups and jumping jacks; third trimester it was wall push-ups and air squats.
  • Box jumps became step ups.
  • I didn’t do any bench press and in the second trimester stopped snatching. Usually, I just did another lift. I did a lot of shoulder work my entire pregnancy, which was to my advantage because it’s a weakness of mine.
  • Running was uncomfortable in the third trimester so I walked or rowed.
  • I stopped yoga at week 35 or 36 because the positions got too uncomfortable.

Any lessons learned? I wish I would have eaten cleaner/more paleo so I wouldn’t have gained as much weight. Ironic I know because I was poo-pooing the doctors for scolding me. Live and learn. But the reality is that losing these extra pounds is a tricky physical and mental challenge for me because I’m up against a low milk supply + a strong desire to nurse for 12 months.

I also wish I had known my heart rate prior to becoming pregnant. Any readers out there who are trying to get pregnant: I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor now and learn what your body is capable of before you get pregnant. That way you can better modify and understand your limits.

All-in-all, I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, delivery, and first two and a half months. I appreciate my support system and all my readers.

And nothing like getting major inspiration watching the CrossFit Games, which are live on ESPN 3 this weekend. Be sure to tune in and watch some of the best. Wish we were there again this year! Such an awesome weekend, celebrating the sport we love.

Any words of wisdom or modifications to add?

Athlete Profile: Katie Rounds

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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?

Pregnancy: Week 33

14.3 going down

14.3 going down

During the week, there was little focus on CrossFit, but a ton of focus on fun and good food!

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Momma and Frankie scrunched in like sardines

Sending momma on her way

Sending momma on her way

We returned to the Valley on Sunday and enjoyed the final 48 hours with my mom. She was able to enjoy the sun and help us with some baby prep tasks. She took off Tuesday afternoon and that evening, we welcomed some of our favorite friends, who were escaping the Wisconsin snow for sunshine.

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Aunts Kenny & Jenny watch us during 14.3

Their arrival prompted me to do some good, mostly paleo, meal planning. For the mornings, I baked paleo banana bread, a veggie-filled quiche, fresh-squeezed orange juice and then made daily veggie and fruit based shakes to get our day started clean.

Since it’s prime grilling season, dinners included tri tip with spinach salad and green beans, BBQ chicken with grilled asparagus and wild rice with mushrooms, and cheeseburgers with tomato salad. Makes my mouth water for more!

The nights were late and filled with talking and laughing, which didn’t really promote early WODs. I haven’t struck a great balance between getting enough sleep and my workout availability throughout my pregnancy. That and food quality/weight gain are my two greatest take-aways. I would like to take what I’ve learned this time and focus more time and energy the next pregnancy on strict-paleo and a rigid workout schedule.

Besides our awesome house guests, the hubs and I took spent some quality time together at our church on Friday night. Every Friday during Lent our parish hosts an incredible fish fry. While not paleo, it’s a fun, inexpensive meal that provides us an opportunity for fellowship.We enjoyed it so much last year and are so glad to have another year to participate.

Most recently, the church has also launched a monthly date night for engaged and married couples. We attended last month and loved it, so we attended again Friday night. It’s the perfect time to help us focus on our Trinity – God + us. This Friday, in particular, the discussion was based on trials and tribulations couples face and how to handle the decision making process. To kick-off the discussion, we attended the Stations of the Cross as a group to help focus on self-sacrifice and the need for community during tough times. Since we’ve faced a number of complicated decisions already in our short marriage, the topic was timely and useful.

We have started to build my “push playlist.” It includes everything from Lady Gaga + R. Kelly’s “Do What You Want” to REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know It.” Looking for recommendations on songs to include. I’m approaching this like I would a WOD – intense and focused – so anything with a strong, aggressive beat is perfect. Suggestions?

Week 33 WOD:

CrossFit Open 14.3. As I previously mentioned, I didn’t register for the Open and I don’t regret that decision. However, when this WOD was announced, I knew it was my wheelhouse and Coach Melissa confirmed that.

WOMEN – includes Masters Women up to 54 years old
Complete as many reps as possible in 8 minutes of:
95-lb. deadlifts, 10 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
135-lb. deadlifts, 15 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
155-lb. deadlifts, 20 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
185-lb. deadlifts, 25 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
205-lb. deadlifts, 30 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch
225-lb. deadlifts, 35 reps
15 box jumps, 20-inch

My score: 77. Had I not stopped to put on my 33 week sticker mid-WOD, I probably would have made it to the next round of deadlifts (185#).

For those concerned about me lifting, deadlifts are one of the olympic lifts I excel in and I had Melissa by my side coaching me through breathing, reps, and breaks. I also always wear my heart rate monitor to ensure I keep it at a steady rate; for this WOD it was between 160-165, my average for WODs. And, I haven’t jumped on boxes since the start of my pregnancy for fear of falling. I simply step up (which is recommended by many coaches/doctors for any general athlete to save on the hips and Achilles).

Melissa talking me through strategy

Melissa talking me through strategy

33 weeks

33 weeks

All smiles

All smiles

Melissa & crew coaching me on

Melissa & crew coaching me on
The hubs killed it

The hubs killed it

Pregnancy: Weeks 19-26

Phew. I am worn out. Hence my dramatic, lengthy absence from the blogging-sphere.

It all started with work. I’ve been working two jobs and try to work in a third whenever I can find time (which hasn’t been often lately). Some days, I work both jobs. Week 19 was a mess of hours, which left no time for WODs, yoga or blogging. All I managed to squeeze in was walking the pooch. At least I have pooch to get my heart rate up a bit!

All that rolled right into the hectic holidays. This was the first time we didn’t travel, but that didn’t mean we weren’t running around town seeing family, friends, and holiday spectacles. It was a great time. Pooch was completely into unwrapping gifts; that will be fun next year when we also have an eight-month-old!

Since then, my window for WOD opportunity has been narrow, and typically sleeps wins over working out. I’m definitely not proud of this. In fact, I’m extremely disappointed in myself. I’m trying to self correct by attempting for at least one yoga session, two CrossFit WODs, and a very long walk or hike with pooch a week (in addition to our daily 20-30 minute neighborhood walks). It’s improving with time. It also helps that I have another CrossFit preggy friend meeting me in the box – all about accountability!

I do miss having the bar in my hands and the power of lifting. It’s definitely not lost on me that I need to maximize my time while I have it.

Highlights:

  • Leslie gave birth to a healthy baby boy during my 19th week. They are adjusting well and Les is working her way back into the box. She’s definitely an inspiration!
  • Baby L started moving Dec. 22 and hasn’t really stopped. It’s one active kid!
  • Baby L is most active when we go to church, do yoga, or pooch is snuggled next to me. I think I’m growing a world peace advocate!
  • All the ultrasounds have been reassuring – we counted 10 toes, 10 fingers, saw the inside of the cranium, saw multiple organs and watched it move.
  • Food has balanced out. And now, during week 26, I am much more focused on paleo again. Still definitely need carbs, but haven’t had as many cravings.
  • Now that I’ve truly popped, the best clothes were acquired at H&M. Fashionable and cost-effective; what’s not to love?! I also found some great dresses from Gap and Nordstrom; J.Crew also launched its maternity pant line, which helps for work-wear. Still trying to work in as much of my regular wardrobe as possible.
  • We set up our registries at Target and on Amazon. Thanks to valuable input from a number of my mommy-friends, this task was still daunting, but we had awesome direction. We’re using the KISS methodology and trying to focus on the absolute necessities.
  • As I mentioned above, I got back into yoga and it feels amazing. I’m sticking with gentle yoga or centered yoga. As much as I love power yoga classes, the rooms tend to get too hot and at this point, I couldn’t keep up.
  • I’ve had to scale back my make heart rate during the metcon. Instead of pushing 165-170, I’m keeping more in the 150-160 range.
  • When I do get to the box, I’m still able to lift quite a bit of weight. Yay!
  • The chiropractor has kept my overall health and wellness stable. As I’ve grown, it’s been nice to have bi-weekly and now weekly adjustments to reduce tension and ease my joints. Highly recommend!

Progress pictures:

Ring dips with Baby L; 19 weeks

Ring dips with Baby L; 19 weeks

The awesome Coach Melissa

The awesome Coach Melissa

20 Weeks

20 Weeks

21 Weeks

21 Weeks

22 Weeks

22 Weeks

23 Weeks

23 Weeks

24 Weeks

24 Weeks

 

25 Weeks, with Poppa after he finished the Phoenix Rock n' Roll Half Marathon

25 Weeks, with Poppa after he finished the Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

 

 

 

 

 

Pregnancy: Week 16

It was a great week. Back in the swing of everything after our cross-country trip and CrossFit Level 1 Coaches Seminar.

I’m quickly out growing my clothes, even the clothes I saved from my heftier days. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to dress for work everyday. Luckily I’m in a pretty casual workplace where leggings are acceptable.

We had our monthly doctor check up this week. This visit, we met with another doctor in the practice. In the event our doc isn’t available during our delivery, the office recommends we meet with everyone to familiarize ourselves. Lucky for us, we LOVED this doctor and I would feel very comfortable if she ended up as our delivery doctor. She was impressed I haven’t been sick and that I’m still CrossFitting.

We heard Baby L’s heartbeat again – a rate of 155 – nice and steady! I’m tracking where I should be with weight gain and all my vitals are healthy (thank you, CrossFit!).

Week Sixteen WODS

Nov. 10 (second day at CrossFit Level 1 Coaches Seminar)

Strength/skill: The day focused on perfecting the final fundamental moves: the deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull and med ball cleans

Metcon: 8 min AMRAP – 8 push ups, 10 med ball cleans (20/14), 12 sit ups – 6 rounds

Nov. 13 warm up 500m row (150 heart rate)

Strength/skill: strict press 5×5 – got to 75, failed after third rep

Metcon: 3 rounds – 10 power cleans (135/95) – I did 65#, 15 hspu, 20 box jumps (24/20) – I did step ups, 100m run – 10:46 (heart rate reached 170 at height of workout. Was easy to pull back to lower it).

Nov. 14 warm up 2 min row (390m)

Strength/skill: tabata slam balls (25/15), sit ups – didn’t keep track of reps every round

Metcon: 20 min clock. 200m walking lunges. Remaining time: 5 weighted squats (45/25), 10 ring dips, 10 kb sumo deadlift high pulls (2/1.5 pood) – I did 1 pood – made it six rounds. Heart rate hovered around 165, which is my max.

Nov. 16 Family hike almost 3 miles in about 45 minutes. At the peak of the incline, I was breathing pretty heavy and needing water. Otherwise felt great and was awesome to be outside again now that the temps are normal.

Bump - 16 weeks

Bump – 16 weeks

Food: Pretty paleo with some sort of bread at meals. Loving lemonade and ginger ale when not drinking water.

Pregnancy: Week 13

This was a tough week on a number of levels.

1. I have never had significant body image issues, but I am now. I’m in that weird state between having the tiny pooch and the obvious baby belly. Nothing fits and I feel like a fat kid every time I look in the mirror. It’s been tough mentally because I have worked SO hard the last two years getting into the best shape of my life. And now, all that’s changing. I get that it’s temporary and for the single most important reason in life … but knowing that doesn’t make it easier.

2. This was the first week I couldn’t do a metcon Rx. This was the first week I had to pull back from doing Rx during a metcon. My heart rate was skyrocketing during the first four minutes and I knew it would continue to climb dangerously if I didn’t do something differently. Instead of taking constant breaks (pointless given the workout design), I dropped weight. And I cried. Through the rest of the workout. I am so thankful for my coach and my best workout friend were right there for me. They were in my face telling me of course I could lift the weight, but I was making the responsible decision to pull back.

3. I started a new job on Monday and worked almost 20 hours at my part time job. Phew that was exhausting!

Week Thirteen WODS

Oct. 21 Warm up – row 400m row (148 heart rate)

Strength/skill: split squat with 1 pood KB – 5 sets of 7 each leg – ring dips 5 sets (157 heart rate)

Metcon: 12 min amrap – 7 sumo deadlift high pull (95/65), 7 burpees (I modified with 1 push up + 1 jumping jack = 1 burpee), 7 push ups – 5+19 (169 heart rate max)

Oct. 22 Warm up

Strength/skill: back squat 5×6. Did 80% of PR – 125#

Metcon:

  • 5 kbs (1.5/1 pood) + 5 thrusters (95/65) – 4 min amrap – 25 (this is where I lost my sh*t since my heart rate jumped so high)
  • 2 min rest
  • 5 cleans (95/65) + 5 weighted sit ups (45/25) – 4 min amrap – 50, but dropped to 45# & eliminated weight during sit ups
  • 2 min rest
  • 5 push press (95/65) + 5 t2b – 4 min amrap – 50, but did 45#

Oct 26 Ran 2.5 miles with the dog (164 heart rate)

Food: I’ve evened out a bit, but still need carbs to get through the day. I also need coffee since I’m worn out from all that’s going on!