Pregnancy: Week 39

Another week under our belts and no signs of Baby L.

Easter1

Team Leatherman. Easter Sunday. 39 weeks.

Team Leatherman. Easter Sunday. 39 weeks.

It was fairly low key in our household. We enjoyed a quiet Easter and a quiet week. I finished work last Thursday, so I’ve been taking care of odds and ends, cooking and prepping paleo food for post-baby arrival, CrossFitting, and enjoying some pampering.

Breakfast bread, paleo style

Breakfast bread, paleo style

Food prep – one of the easiest things I can do, especially for the hubs, is whip up some paleo breakfast breads and freeze them to use once our parents leave. I made the following: carrot, zucchini, cinnamon strudel and lemon poppy seed. YUM! I also made two meatloafs (I seriously make a mean and flavorful meatloaf), three containers of spaghetti sauce, and marinated some pork tenderloin to freeze. Plus, I stocked the freezer with lots of grilling meat so we can easily whip up dinners.

As the temps in Phoenix have increased, sadly, so have my feet. I’m experiencing swelling, bruising and aching in my feet and ankles. No bueno. To help, on Monday, I had an awesome adjustment from the chiropractor. She applied some heat ultrasound therapy to my swollen feet and that helped to reduce the swelling. Tuesday, I treated myself to an amazing massage. He worked me from head-to-toe, but paid extra attention to my feet. I melted on the table it felt so good!

Wednesday was our weekly doctor appointment. While there’s no change in dilation, she said I was “loose” and she could feel the baby’s head. She told me to stay active, hydrated, and pampered. No problem following those instructions! As for my feet, it’s the time of year and point in my pregnancy, so she wasn’t surprised.

Aunties2 (1) Aunties2 (2)

39 weeks with Aunties and Momma

39 weeks with Aunties and Momma

My mom arrived on Tuesday and we hosted my aunts for a yummy dinner. Wednesday, we ventured to their house to enjoy the pool and another family dinner together. So fun having family around. Since babykins is staying put, they ventured north to enjoy Sedona and the Grand Canyon. Love that they are getting a mini-sisters trip out of this visit, too.

Week 39 WODs: It was a freakishly awesome week in the box. I set two impressive PRs – one in push press and one in deadlifts. My mom also joined me for her first CrossFit WOD.

Monday, April 21: warm up – 200m row

110# Push Press

110# Push Press

strength: Push Press 6-6-5-5-4-4 – 110# x3 PR (Last week I got a PR of 95# x1)

metcon: 3 rounds – 14:44

  • 500m row 200m run
  • 15 pull ups ring rows
  • 15 push press – 75#

Plus 2.5 mile walk with Frankie

Tuesday, April 22: warm up

strength: Back Squat 4×6: 125#

Step ups!

Step ups!

metcon:Instead of three rounds each set, I did two rounds. There was a 25 min time cap. I finished in 23:15. This was definitely a heart rate raiser!

  • 3 rounds
  • 25 wall balls (20/14)
  • 1 min max row (totaled 200m)
  • 2 min rest
  • 3 rounds
  • 25 box jumps (24/20) – step ups
  • 1 min max burpees – I did on wall (20 total)
  • 2 min rest
  • 3 rounds
  • Ground to overhead (45/25)
  • 1 min max toes to sky

Plus 2.5 mile walk with Frankie

Wednesday, April 23: Momma joined me!

Momma working on shoulder mobility

Momma working on shoulder mobility

warm up: 300m row

Romanian Deadlift 165#

Romanian Deadlift 165#

strength: Romanian deadlifts from 45# plates 5×6 – 165#

Kettlebell swinging

Kettlebell swinging

metcon: Did a modified WOD from what was programmed because my legs were bothering me.

  • 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • KB swings (1 pood)
  • Romanian deadlift from 12″ box with 45# bar

Friday, April 25: warm up: 200m walk + 300m row

strength: deadlift 8-8-5-5-3-3: 215# PR (Previous PR was 205# x 1 rep in Sept.)

metcon: 15min amrap – 5 rounds

  • 20 knees to elbow from ground from box
  • 10 medball deadlift shrugs (20/14)
  • 10 medball front squats (20/14)
  • 50m dash

Food: paleo + ice cream (and anything to keep me cool, really). Icees, iced tea and water are favorite choices.

Pregnancy Week 38

Week 38 was a huge tease. Huge.

I started cramping on Sunday during church; labor cramping to the point that we had to leave after the Eucharist and I sat most of mass. My reaction? I was immediately excited. Chad was more skeptical … and the hubs won out. Not much more happened.

38 weeks, climbing South Mountain with Heather

38 weeks, climbing South Mountain with Heather

Full Moon Hike recap

Full Moon Hike recap

Tuesday night, we joined our friend Heather for a full moon hike at South Mountain. We had never hiked this trail. It was gorgeous and very different from the trails we frequent. And watching the moon rise was spectacular. It rose as a sliver of orange and as it was cresting, the coyotes started barking and howling. That put pooch on high alert! We sat and watched it rise and transform for almost an hour before heading down. It was a magical night; the baby thought so too, because it gave me more cramping (yippee!).

Wednesday morning, at the chiropractor, the doc that adjusts my hips was confident I would deliver this week given the shift in my body and hips…

Since then, it’s been a mix of mild contractions and cramping. I’ve been trying some of the old wives tales – spicy food and long walks – coupled with CrossFit. Friday, we saw our doctor. The result? Still just one centimeter of dilation. She did say there was noticeable difference and progress from the prior week, but clearly not enough to deliver! Her recommendation? Sex. Lots of it! Quite the homework assignment!

Thursday was the final day of my work contract. I’m officially a free woman to test out my new job as a momma. So, now we wait!

Gorgeous flowers from Hadar

Gorgeous flowers from Hadar

A visit from cuzzie David

A visit from cuzzie David

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Great lunch with David, Renee, Chad and Frankie

Great lunch with David, Renee, Chad and Frankie

It’s been a week of blessings from friends and family. Awesome support via cards, gifts, flowers, calls, texts and visits. Baby L is definitely the talk of our world and we appreciate all the love and well-wishes.

So many are anxiously awaiting this little person, including big brother Frankie. He’s a smart dog, but the way he’s acting indicates he really know something more is in store for him. He’s extra focused on me and seeking lots of love. Happy to oblige!

Big Brother, patiently waiting

Big Brother, patiently waiting

Week 38 WODs: Another killer week: feeling great, lifting heavy, and having a ton of energy.

Lovin from Hadar and Kim

Lovin from Hadar and Kim

The ever awesome (and patient!) Coach Melissa

The ever awesome (and patient!) Coach Melissa

Monday, April 14: warm up

strength: front squat 10-8-6-4-2. Worked to 145# (probably another PR)

metcon: 14 min amrap: 4 rounds + 100m row

  • 100m row
  • 10 slam balls (25/15)
  • 10 air squats
  • 10 push press (65#)

Tuesday, April 15: warm up

Strength: Bench press was programmed, but not recommended for preggers. I did shoulders to overhead from the back 5×2. Got to 95#x1 (probably another PR).

Metcon: 14 min amrap: 6 rounds

  • 8 deadlifts (215/135) I did 125#
  • 6 chest to bar pull ups. I did ring rows
  • 15 air squats

That night, full moon hike. ~3.5 miles. Heart rate spiked climbing up. Could definitely feel the morning of deadlifts in my back on the incline, too! Took many breaks.

Thursday, April 17 warm up: 200m run

skill: tabata row (got to 615m), bar hang (could only hang 13 of the 20 seconds), med ball cleans (14#, 33 reps)

Tabata explanation from crossfit.com: For 20 seconds, do as many reps of assigned exercise, then rest 10 seconds. Repeat seven times for a total of eight intervals. Translates to four minutes of total exercise.

metcon: 11+4 push jerks

Push Press

Push Press

  • 6 min amrap
  • 4 push press (135/95) 75#
  • 6 burpee pull ups ring rows
  • 2 min rest
  • 6 min amrap
  • 4 push jerk (135/95) 75#
  • 6 burpee pull ups ring rows

Friday, April 18 warm up: 200m run

metcon: “Dirty 30”: 22:50

  • 30 box jumps (24/20) / step ups 20″
  • 30 jumping pull ups / ring rows
  • 30 kettle bell swings (35/25)
  • 30 walking lunges
  • 30 knees to elbows
  • 30 push press (45/35)
  • 30 good mornings (45/35)
  • 30 wall balls (20/14)
  • 30 burpees / on wall
  • 30 double unders / 90 singles

Food: paleo and ice! and ice cream. It’s so stinking hot already in the Valley, that ice and ice cream offer sweet relief!

Pregnancy Week 37

I was a machine this week. It’s as though my body knows it’s preparing for a WOD of a lifetime. I’m in total training mode – mentally and physically.

I have gotten plenty of sleep. I am eating super healthy/paleo. I’m continuing to rock the whiteboard. It’s pretty freakish seeing some of the scores I posted this week. More on that in a bit … as for the week …

We had our weekly doctor check-in on Tuesday. Since I dropped dramatically in Week 36 and I had two friends deliver two weeks early, I was positive I would be well on my way to dilation. WRONG. I’m barely at one centimeter.

I got over it quickly, realizing this actually set my mind at ease and I wasn’t about to deliver any second. I still need to put my feet up mid-afternoon, but I could focus my energy on finishing my last full week of work and spending quality time with my boys and friends.

Afternoon snooze with pooch

Afternoon snooze with pooch

On Monday, I picked up the stroller from REI. How awesome is this? The bike department put it together for me! Saved us such a headache. Thanks REI! On Thursday, we took advantage of the Phoenix Fire Department‘s awesome car seat installation service. I highly recommend seeking out similar assistance from wherever you purchase and/or live. Friday, we drove to the hospital during rush hour to test a route and see how long it took. Just another way to put our minds at ease and do our best to prepare.

Stroller is ready!

Stroller is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Big brother is ready!

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Pooch enjoying the dry run drive to the hospital

Saturday was devoted to my girlfriends and it was glorious. We met at a local trail for a moderate 3.5 mile hike. Sweating on the mountain was the perfect way to start the day. That afternoon, we ventured to a local, swanky resort for pool and lounging time. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. It was such a nice, casual day focused on good friends and laughter. We all got plenty of sun and enjoyed poolside service all afternoon. The bump is now nice and brown!

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Girls pool day!

Girls pool day!

I feel like I’m accomplishing all the pre-baby suggestions from everything have read. Chad and I had a day of pampering. We’ve splurged on a nice meal and many smaller ones. I read a book. We’ve gotten our financials and legal stuff in order. I’ve enjoyed a pedicure. We’ve spent quality time with friends. We purged and organized. We packed the overnight bag. We have slept. We updated our CPR certs. We have gone to mass often. I feel really good and will reflect on this time knowing we were well prepared physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Week 37 WODs:

April 7 warm up: 250m row

strength: overhead squats 20-15-10-5; ended on 90#

metcon: 12 min amrap: 6+18; heart rate got to 167

  • 6 hang cleans (135/95) I did 75#
  • 6 box jumps (30/24) I did 20″ step ups
  • 6 wall walks I did shoulder work with 5# plates 3 moves 6 times each

April 8 warm up

Wedding week front squat with Kel

Wedding week front squat with Kel – 115#

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37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat 135#

37 week front squat - 135#

37 week front squat – 135#

strength: front squat, find 3 rep max. Sara and I got to 135#. Looking back in my journal, the last time I did front squat, 3 rep max was the week of my wedding with my bridesmaid Kelly. I lifted 115# on June 6. This week, I posted one of the highest scores on the whiteboard, despite having 30 extra pounds and a kiddo in the way. Like I said earlier, freakish!

Whiteboard freak!

Whiteboard freak!

metcon: 4 rounds for time (I did 2 rounds): 13:24

  • 200m run
  • 10 snatch balance (95/65) I did front rack lunges 45#
  • 200m run
  • 15 ring dips

That evening, I did a 2.5 mile walk with the hubs and pooch.

April 9 warm up

175# deadlift

175# deadlift

strength: deadlift x3. Worked to 175# with Sara

metcon: KAREN: 150 wall balls (20# ball) for time. Coach Melissa put a 10 minute time cap on it. I used a 14# ball and got 106 reps in 10 minutes. I really wanted to get to the 150 in 10 min., but had to keep breaking because my heart rate was going above 170.

April 10 warm up

strength: strict press/push press/push jerk 4×6 Got to 85#; strict became impossible around 75# because I was sacrificing form with my bump. Lifted with a visiting guest from CrossFit North Atlanta.

metcon: 21-15-9 completed in 13:10

  • chest to bar pull ups I did ring rows
  • power cleans (135/95) I lifted 65#
  • slam balls (25/15)

April 11 Girls hike. 3.5 miles in 40 minutes with Hadar, Sara and Frankie

At the top!

At the top!

Food: biggest craving continues to be ice. A woman at an ice/water shop (it’s a thing in the Valley) told me it’s common in pregnant women and typically due to anemia. Interesting!

Athlete Profile: Mia Volk

When I first started crossfitandpregnant.com, not only did I want to share my story of CrossFitting through pregnancy, and document the highs and lows, but I also wanted to share the stories of other athletes. Since there is little research on the subject and we all receive different feedback, support and inspiration, I think it is important to create a collaborative community.

This week, I am excited to feature my first athlete who found crossfitandpregnant.com thanks to Google searches. Mia and I have never met or worked out together, but her passion and energy for fitness shines through her interview. I’m honored to feature her this week.

Meet Mia Volk

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Mia, pre-pregnancy

Mia, pre-pregnancy

Mia Volk began CrossFitting in 2010 in Santa Clara, Calif at NorCal CrossFit, FKA Santa Clara CrossFit. Prior to her CrossFit introduction, she was a regular gym rat, spending 3+ hours, but never fully exhausting herself. Seeking a challenge and change, a friend introduced her to the sport we all love, CrossFit. Like many Californians, she loves living an active lifestyle; in addition to CrossFit, she road cycles, backpacks and participates in partial marathons.

“CrossFit supports all my passions,” Mia says. “I love the community and the exhausted state I leave after just an hour.”

Now a member of Aloha CrossFit of Maui, Mia has found strength in her pregnancy. At 29 weeks, she has learned the necessary modifications she needs to make and still challenges herself with the amount of weight and times she posts on the whiteboard.

“Pregnancy is not a handicap,” Mia says. “I can do almost everything the next person can do. The intensity of workout provides amazing benefits for my baby and me.”

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Working hard!

Working hard!

Mia has continued her CrossFit, paleo and juicing lifestyle with the support of her husband and others from her box. She’s looking forward to setting an example for her baby and appreciates the opportunity to encourage other women who are pregnant to remain active.

Mia with her hubs

Mia with her hubs

Just the type of woman we love at crossfitandpregnant.com!

More on Mia:

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: To maintain good health for myself and my baby. I want to be fit and active, especially to influence Noah, so that he learns to be just as active as his parents.

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it? My doctor advised to continue my regular exercise routine and listen to my body when I need rest; I have been following her advice. I have a rest day about once a week.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find support? My husband is beyond supportive in everything I do, especially CrossFit; he is my best friend! My husband, only a few friends (many worry) and my CrossFit family were my only support until I found crossfitandpregnant.com.

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration? My inspiration is my unborn baby and future children. I look forward to teaching them to care for their body and to use it to experience CrossFit and other outdoorsy activities. CrossFit has taught and instilled an unfamiliar level of self-discipline and teamwork, which I know will benefit my children through my example. Several moms I know jumped right back into CrossFit after pregnancy and are stronger than ever; they inspire me.

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Working hard outside of the box

Working hard outside of the box

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: Even though I am not attempting to lift heavier weights, I realize that I am; the heavier weight is from the growth of my baby. Every week, the movements get tougher because my baby’s weight is increasing. I am struggling daily to keep up with my consistent weight increase.

Lifting heavy!

Lifting heavy!

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle? Before I was pregnant, I was following the Paleolithic diet 95% of the time and I juiced daily. Now, I am about 90% paleo because I periodically throw in some sprouted grains.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: Push through the laziness. Avoid skipping a WOD because by the end of warm-up, I am always ready to WOD and grateful I did.

What have you found most valuable about CrossFit while pregnant?: I feel better about myself and I am encouraging other women to maintain their health when they decide to become pregnant.

Favorite quote: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. -Colossians 3:23

Favorite girl WOD: Linda

Three words that describe me: motivated, excited & teachable

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Love the bump!

Love the bump!

 

Pregnancy Week 36

Officially the home stretch – four weeks and counting.

36 weeks. Hanging out with Auntie Hadar

36 weeks. Hanging out with Auntie Hadar

We had a great week and continued to get a lot accomplished. Our box, Back Alley CrossFit, hosted an infant through adult CPR class on Sunday. My certification was up in February, so it was perfect timing, especially for the infant refresh!

Chad getting a CPR refresher

Chad getting a CPR refresher

This week was also the hubs birthday. I stretched out the celebrations, cooking us a big breakfast after CrossFit that morning and reserving us a great table at the new hotspot, The Henry. We enjoyed a fabulous meal and quiet night. On Saturday, the celebrations continued with massages at our health club, lunch in the sunshine and manicures.

Thanks for the reminder, Facebook.

Thanks for the reminder, Facebook.

Happy Birthday to Chad!

Happy Birthday to Chad!

Make a wish!

Make a wish!

Saturday also kinda subbed as a babymoon, since we decided not to go anywhere. We definitely took advantage of a nothing-to-do kinda day. After our spa excursions, I read and napped while Chad enjoyed the Final Four games. We both wish we had been able to take a babymoon, but I bet that come baby #2, we’ll be exceptionally ready for a long weekend away together!

We had a doctor’s appointment on Monday and an ultrasound on Friday. During the Monday appointment, we were told I didn’t have any dilation, but since that appointment, I’ve dropped and had quite a bit of tension and increase in Braxton Hicks. The ultrasound confirmed the baby’s position and size (about 6# right now). Will be interested to know what changes have occurred in Week 37.

The only other thing I really can’t get over or through my head is some chapters I’ve read on preparing pets. In one book, it said, “either start distancing yourself now from your pet or get rid of it.” UM, EXCUSE ME?! That was ludicrous and I can’t seem to get past it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I totally understand that life will change for all three of us, but when a new human child comes into the family, the parents aren’t advised to start distancing or get rid of child one, right?

Frankie has been a guardian angel to Chad and me separately and together. He’s also taught us a lot about life. On our other blog (that I haven’t updated in months), I wrote about some of the life lessons Frankie has shared. I’m going to share here, too. It’s our hope that Frankie will also be able to teach Baby L some of these during their time together.

Some days, when Frankie is playful and sweet, I’m struck by his unconditional love, patience and forgiveness. Those qualities are important reminders of what I need to work toward in life. There are days where I lack all three…But, then Frankie comes trotting in, squeaky toy in mouth to remind me there’s more to life; that it’s important to play, to rest, to seek adventure. To love those who protect and care for me. To never stop learning. Looking into those big brown eyes, I can’t be anything but happy and full of love.

A dog’s love and loyalty come so naturally for them and so much harder for their human counterparts. I’m happy Frankie is in my life to teach me and remind me of life’s simplest pleasures.

Frankie’s rules to life:

  1. Play with enthusiasm.
  2. Enjoy naps.
  3. Dress to impress.
  4. Take leaps in life.
  5. Try something you don’t like; you might just end up surprising yourself.
  6. Family is everything.
  7. Good friends are worth loyalty.
  8. Share your toys.
  9. Soak up the sun.
  10. Eat your veggies.
  11. Seek adventure.
  12. Watch the sunset
  13. Wipe your paws.
  14. Life is short. Enjoy every moment.

Play with enthusiasm.

Naps are essential.

Dress to impress.

Take leaps in life.

Try something you don't like ... you might end up loving it.

Family is everything.

Good friends are worth loyalty.

Share your toys.

Soak up the sun.

Eat your veggies.

Seek adventure.

Watch the sunset.

Wipe your paws.

Life is short. Appreciate every moment.

Week 36 WODs:

March 31. This WOD was for my friend Brienne. Read more about her here.

warm up

strength: Back squat 10-8-6-4-2 Ended on 125#

metcon: 12 min amrap. I got through 4 rounds + 14 reps

  • 12 wall balls (20/14) med ball cleans
  • 12 burpee tuck jumps jumping jacks
  • 12 deadlifts (135/95)

April 1. Happy Birthday, Hubs! xxxooo

warm up: 500m row

strength: push press 20-15-10-5 Ended on 85#

36 weeks push press (3) 36 weeks push press (2)

Push Press 85#

Push Press 85#

metcon: 4 rounds. I completed 2 rounds in 13:41 using 65#.

  • 8 squat clean & jerks (135/95)
  • 8 toes to bar (I do knees to armpits)
  • 6 cleans
  • 6 t2b
  • 4 jerks
  • 4 t2b

April 3

warm up: 250m row

skill: death by box dips (class did bear crawls)

metcon: Finished the following in 16:51. I cut what was programmed in half to be able to maintain a decent heart rate and be able to finish (so double everything for the programmed portion; I’m only listing what I did). Also had to sub in some movements for the sake of my belly. Was the right call; still got the heart rate high, but felt accomplished finishing.

  • 200m run
  • 5 hang cleans 65#
  • 10 jumping jacks + 10 push ups (mod for burpees)
  • 15 bicycles
  • 20 slam balls (25/15)
  • 25 v-ups
  • 20 wall balls (20/14)
  • 15 deadlifts 95#
  • 10 t2b
  • 5 step ups with squats
  • 200m run

Food: pretty clean/paleo. Same beverage cravings apply from previous weeks. Appetite is waning.

Case of the Mondays? Think again.

Courtesy of rottencards.com

Courtesy of rottencards.com

It’s easy to joke about getting a “case of the Mondays,” right? I hear it all the time. Facebook feeds become clogged with Monday rants. I’m right there with you; who wants to abandon the weekend for work?

My perspective changed this morning. Today, my Monday and the way I am able to live it, is a blessing.

Get that?

The way I want to and CAN live this Monday is my blessing.

My alarm rang at 5:46 a.m., urging me to get out of the comforts of my cozy bed with my boys, to dress for CrossFit. I got up to turn off my alarm and my quads were screaming at me; the after effects of 14.5. As I walked back to bed, I debated on what to do. “Should I hit the box?” “Tackle flow yoga this afternoon?” “Pass the buck completely?”

I laid back down and logged into Facebook, while listening to the sweet snores of Frankie beside me.

One of the first updates to catch my eye was from one of my high school friends, Brienne. I met Brienne my freshman year. She was a year older, quite popular, an avid cross-country and track runner, and one of the most positive, fun people I had ever met. I got to know Brie even better outside the halls of BHS because I started dating her older brother. During high school, Brie was always uplifting, energetic, positive and on the move.

As it happens, once she graduated, I didn’t see much of her, but have enjoyed keeping tabs via Facebook. She now has two gorgeous kids, bravely launched her own Barre studio, and resides in St. Louis.

So, why on this “dreadful” Monday did Brie’s post catch my eye?

Because her posts in the last two weeks are anything but normal for those of us in our early 30’s. Brie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and is now residing in Vanderbilt Medical, enduring treatments.

Brie at VUMC

Brie at VUMC

Her post this morning motivated me to appreciate having a Monday to do all the normal things. She wrote:

“It has been a hard morning, emotionally. Physically I am feeling fine, praise The Lord for that. I decided to get on the ground and cry, then I decided to change my playlist, stand, get coffee, and tape cards all over the walls! And, there is a sunrise, so that is good. I just want an ordinary Monday morning right now. One day…”

How could I not get out of bed and use it to the best of my ability? To appreciate an “ordinary” Monday? To honor Brie by doing so?

Money is being raised to help Brie with her kids and her business. Our friend Anna wrote an awesome post on her blog, The Yellow Table (highly recommend following if you’re a foodie). You call also donate directly to the GoFundMe site. And to read more about Brie, her awesome personality is shining through on her CaringBridge site, CancersDumb.

My WOD for Brie today:

warm up stretches

Strength: back squat 10-8-6-4-2 I ended with 125#. Screw my screaming quads

Whiteboard this morning

Whiteboard this morning

Metcon: 12 min AMRAP (I did two mods because I was working around some folks and oh, yeah, I’m preggers). I finished 4 rounds + 14

  • 12 wall balls med ball cleans (20/14)
  • 12 burpee tuck jumps jumping jacks
  • 12 deadlifts (135/95)

So, that’s what I did. I urge you to do the same. Honor today. Honor your body. Honor your relationships near and far.

acute lymphoblastic leukemia
diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Athlete Profile: Sara Hillman

Sara and I met through our Phoenix affiliate. She has been a member of Back Alley CrossFit since it’s garage days and watched it evolve into the mid-size affiliate it is today. She was one of the first people to make me feel welcome and at home. Since then our friendship has forged and she’s become my CrossFit preggers partner in crime!

Due August 2014, Sara experience a rocky start to her first pregnancy. Luckily, the bleeding stopped after close monitoring and lots of rest. Once she was given the go-ahead, this momma-to-be has been all CrossFit focused!

Her story:

It was August 2012. Belleville, Ill. native Sara HIllman was three months from her wedding in Phoenix, Ariz., and needed something that was going to take her workout routine to the next level. That summer, she had been observing “these CRAZY people running by her house in the Arizona heat, pulling fire hoses and flipping tires.” Needless to say, curiosity got the best of her. She worked up the courage to ask how to join. “Well, technically, I made Aaron (my fiancé at the time) stick a very professional letter with my resume attached in the mailbox politely asking if I could start working out with them.” Classic Sara move.

She was addicted from the beginning. “I have never had workout routine that has been so consistent and natural for me. I grew up a competitive gymnast so some components of CrossFit come easy,” Sara said. “The parts that do not come easy I like the challenge and I like seeing the progress in ability. I know that I perform better with others around me and a coach to hold me accountable.”

Naturally, she looked fab for her wedding:

Sara's wedding day

Sara’s wedding day
©2012 Chadwick Fowler

Fast forward a few years and Sara and Aaron are excited to welcome their first baby. CrossFitting during her pregnancy has helped her maintain her sanity. Almost 20 weeks in and finally in her second trimester, she meets monthly with a nutritionist, thanks to a program at work. During the last year, Sara was able to establish a pre-pregnancy baseline for her body composition. At this point in her pregnancy she has gained 9 lbs and five of those are lean muscle mass.

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

Hillmans announce their expected babe in Key West

In addition to proven results on the scale, Sara has continued to pr, she’s participating in The Open, and she receives tremendous support from Aaron, her coworkers and fellow CrossFitters. When she feels discouraged or overwhelmed, “…all I have to do is look around me for inspiration and reminders of how blessed and privileged I am.”

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

Hubby Aaron watches as Sara competes in 14.1.

She chuckles when she thinks of some older women coworkers who insist she shouldn’t lift a box recommend she lighten her purse + work bag. “I think in the back of my mind…. If you only knew what I do at CrossFit.”

“NEWS FLASH: I am not the first person to have a baby. Our grandparents and parents did this before the Internet and self-help books,” said Sara. “A woman I work with was one of 15 kids raised on a farm in rural Minnesota. I  think about what her mother went through raising children without all of today’s conveniences and I am truly inspired by her heartiness. Every person here on earth had a pregnant mother and I think if they can do it, I can do it.”

Right on, Sara. Right on!

Backsquat

Backsquat

More on Sara:

Other exercise practices: Yoga, Pilates, running

My goal in CrossFitting while pregnant is: My goal is to keep my sanity, keep my muscles, and not become as big as a house! Most importantly I hope that I am creating an environment for me and my baby that will results in a healthier pregnancy, an easier delivery, a speedy postpartum recovery, and a baby that loves to exercise. There are numerous benefits to early motor development for children and active lifestyles, my goal is to create that for my baby. I used to teach a mommy and me gymnastic class for babies ranging from six weeks to three months.

Finding CrossFit and Back Alley has allowed me to stay committed to my goals and to an exercise routine while thoroughly enjoying the people and the shenanigans that go on at the gym. I have gone through phases when I lived more of a sedentary lifestyle. I hope to never go back to that. When my alarm goes off in the morning I have that internal battle … ‘you are pregnant you need to sleep but then I remind myself that I don’t know what the future will bring, how I will feel, how my baby will be doing so I drag myself out of bed.’

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

Early morn split jerks are good for the soul

What exercise advice did your doctor provide you? Did you follow it?: I had an inconvenient first trimester. Nothing crazy or scary just a reminder that I cannot control everything. I was not getting to the box and my diet was anything that had carbs and cheese. My doctor has said a few things that has helped keep things in perspective: “Honey, you are pregnant during flu season there will be vomit.,” and “Sometimes it does not matter how much we are working out it’s our diet that will determine our results.” These tips have stuck with me.

I work with three Family Medicine Doctors at the University of Arizona College of Medicine–Phoenix. They know more about me and my CrossFit lifestyle than my OB would ever know. They have truly supported me and encouraged me to continue CrossFitting while pregnant. They are constantly asking me for updates and checking in on my progress in pregnancy and at CrossFit. The best part is they have all worked very closely with my OB office through residency or their own pregnancies. The attention and advice they have given me is priceless.

Don't drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

Don’t drink the water at Back Alley CrossFit!

CrossFit and pregnant, where do you find inspiration?: YOU [CrossFit and Pregnant’s Meghan Leatherman].I cannot imagine trying to navigate through all of this without you forging the path before me in the box.

I also really don’t know what CrossFitting while pregnant would be like without Coach Melissa. She helps me modify as need be and at the same time she does not let me off the hook easy. She has a true talent for coaching with compassion and heart. Sometimes I think she knows my limits more than I do.

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

Setting 14.1 strategy with Coach Melissa

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

14.1 in action with Melissa and Aaron cheering and coaching her on.

Since doing CrossFit while pregnant, I’ve learned I am learning: The human body is truly amazing. It is such a blessing to be pregnant, healthy, and able to continue working out in a way that brings me such emotional and physically satisfaction. I am learning that my body is going to change and my never be the same but that will be OK because I will be a mother and I will continue to CrossFit when I feel good.

Nice deadlift!

Nice deadlift!

Biggest CrossFit and pregnant challenge I’ve faced: To quit comparing myself to others. Every person is different, every pregnancy is different, and every workout is different. I am currently in last place in amongst Back Alley for The Open. It is hard to be OK with that.

Sara working hard early in her preg

Sara working hard early in her pregnancy

Do you follow a particular eating lifestyle?: Clean with a side of carbs and cheese. I have always preferred a more natural/ organic approach to eating. I grew up in the Midwest with a huge garden and a father that killed most of our dinner options. We had elk for dinner the other night and I have been searching for a butcher that sells game ever since. You can taste the difference in real food especially when you can pronounce all of the ingredients.

Best CrossFit and pregnant tip or secret you’ve discovered: My boss told me, “If you feel good, your baby feels good.” It seems so simple, but so perfect. There are so many warnings; don’t let your heart rate go over 140, don’t squat below 90 degrees, lifting your arms above your head will cause a miscarriage, don’t eat turkey, etc., but all that matters is that I am listening to my body and I (we) feel good.

Favorite quote: This one is from my wonderful Aunt Debbie…

NO CHILD OF MINE

No child of mine, I used to cry

Before the stork had fluttered by,

Will ever throw a temper fit,

Or bite or scratch or whine or hit.

Or wear a diaper ‘til he’s three,

Or sit for hours and watch TV.

Or dawdle so he makes me late,

Or leave his spinach on the plate.

Or act, in short, like other kids,

Who’ve made their parents flip their lids.

But, with the patter of baby feet

Are forty million words to eat.

-Betty Billup

 Favorite girl WOD: Fran

Three words that describe me: Animated, Loyal, Devoted

When I’m not in the box, you can find me: Probably doing a home renovation project.

Don't get in this momma-to-be's way!

Don’t get in this momma-to-be’s way!

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: Week 32

Team Leatherman

Team Leatherman

Little did I know I was in store for such an awesome week!

Monday we went to our monthly doctor appointment. From what he could feel, Baby L has moved into position. No wonder I’ve felt feet in my rib cage! All my stats are great; except the weight gain. I received another scolding and was told to return to strict paleo. Everyone I share that with is pretty shocked considering I still scare people when I turn around (definitely don’t look preggers from the back). I’ll try to curb as much as I can, but I’m also not going to stress about it. Probably means I need to hit the box more often.

Tuesday, I worked late and had a ton of errands to run before we left for San Diego on Wednesday. All day I received abnormal texts from the hubs (i.e. “I vacuumed the house.” “I swept the patio.” “I cleaned the bathrooms.”). I couldn’t figure out what got into him! The texts continued into the evening, asking my ETA and wanting to join me on my errands (say what?!). I complied and called him on my way home, having knocked out half the errands. When I pulled in the driveway and opened the garage door, my MOMMA comes walking out!

I was STUNNED (and subsequently confused!). No wonder Chad was doing chores on a Tuesday and begging me to come home – he had an awesome surprise for me! These two were conspiring for weeks and many of my Aunties, who I had recently spoken to, were also in on the surprise. Those stinkers!

Wednesday, after work, we headed to San Diego for a long weekend with family, friends and some beach time. It was just what we all needed. The weather was perfect all weekend long.

Frankie and friends

Frankie and friends

With momma

With momma

Enjoying the beach

Enjoying the beach

 

Profile of the bump

Profile of the bump

Frankie got an awesome afternoon at the beach and the dog park. He hunted lizards and played with his cousin Cami. Plus he got in some good sunshine sleeping.

Frankie checking out Cedros Ave

Frankie checking out Cedros Ave

Saturday, my Aunts hosted a beautiful baby shower for me. Chad and my Uncle hit the golf course, avoiding the ladies lunch. We were again showered with amazing gifts and fellowship with dear friends and family. The day was filled with fun games, delicious food and sunshine. Baby L is so lucky to have so many people already loving it! We feel so blessed.

San Diego shower hosts

San Diego shower hosts

Love my SD friends!

Love my SD friends!

Long-time family friend from Chicago

Long-time family friend from Chicago

Family!

Family!

Pooch got to party

Pooch got to party

Chad's glorious day on the golf course

Chad’s glorious day on the golf course

 

Week 32 WODS: As a result of our travels and surprises, workouts suffered.

Monday – Flow Yoga I – With the baby in position, so many more of the poses felt impossible and it wasn’t as enjoyable. Total bummer.

Food: As I mentioned, the doc wants me strict paleo again. I listened to a degree. I wasn’t going to turn down all the yummy food cooked for us in San Diego and at the shower. I just tried to make the best possible decisions and balance it all with a lot of fruit, veggies and protein.

Pregnancy: Week 28

It was a great week focused on yoga and long walks with pooch. My body is craving the yoga. The stretching and quiet time feels amazing on my expanding body. During shavasana, the baby gives me happy flutters. That makes up for the many poses I can’t do because of the babe’s positioning.

We had our monthly check up this week and met with one of the female doctors in the practice, whom we adore. She’s a realist and clearly loves her job. She walked through what I should expect in these final weeks and we also discussed my weight gain.

I’m up 26# and with the exception of my face rounding more, I’m primarily carrying all that weight on my front. The tatas are a heavy burden! We talked about how much I’ve grown in cup size; she was shocked at the dramatic jump and rationalized that as I was implying, majority of my weight is in my chest. Glad she agreed after the scolding I received last month from another (male) doctor in the practice.

While I haven’t really restricted myself of what I’m eating, I am conscientious to make sure I am consuming enough veggies, fruit, protein and calcium. I have definitely veered far off the paleo track, but our nightly meals are centered around our traditional paleo cooking. I’m having lots of yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and grain; more than I have in a year. It’s obviously going to take a toll on my weight, regardless of growing another human. The reassuring thing is that I know with strict paleo and heavy doses of CrossFit and hot yoga, the extra gain will slide off once Baby arrives.

My paleo sous chef

My paleo sous chef

This appointment was also the time for my whooping cough vaccination, Rh factor shot and my glucose blood work. I was poked and prodded from head to toe!

To ease the eczema on my face, I found my trusty bottle of Bio Oil. This stuff is magic! After using it morning and night for a week, the dryness has subsided and the dullness/patchiness isn’t as extreme. Bio Oil is also known for working wonders on stretch marks. I’m going to start using on my belly and chest to help.

We ended our week with a date night at our church. It was a great opportunity to spend some quality, spiritual time together and meet other couples in our parish. It was much needed time for us individually and together.

Saturday was full of “nesting.” We bought some awesome furniture from a new boutique – Twigs and Twine. Then it was on to tackling the garage, which was in much need of organization and sorting. We felt very accomplished by the end of the day!

Baby L's dresser

Baby L’s dresser

Awesome new chair

Awesome new chair

Week 28 WODs:

Feb. 3 – Flow Yoga with our favorite instructor. She provides lavender soaked wash cloths during shavasana. It adds such a nice touch to relaxation! I’m going to make sure we have some of her water soluble lavender oil on hand during labor since it has such a calming effect on me.

Feb. 5 – Centered Yoga, filled with hip and pelvic openers. Many of the poses will come in handy in April!

Feb. 6 – 2.5 mile walk with pooch, enjoying the gorgeous day, and deep cleaning the house. I mean deep; I worked up a good sweat!

Feb. 7 – 3 mile walk with pooch

Yoga with these gorgeous ladies!

Yoga with these gorgeous ladies!

Feb. 9 – Yoga with my lovely ladies, outside in the gorgeous sun. Can’t think of a better way to start the day!