Wednesday, December 28, 2011


18 weeks
18 weeks along, and the scaling has begun.  I don't have much of a belly yet, but I've gained about 10 lbs and learned my body was definitely not meant to weigh 135#.  Bodyweight movements basically feel like I'm doing them with a 10# vest ... and I did not need ring dips to get any harder than they already were!  Obviously, this is only the beginning, so I'm just hoping this makes me a bodyweight ninja after this baby comes out. 

I'm still doing workouts rx'd when I can.  And other than opting out of max lifting days the last couple weeks, I've still been doing rx'd weight for barbell movements in wods (except for 95# hang power snatches yesterday, but that was due to ability not pregnancy).  Some movements I've started to scale: 
  • GHD sit-ups.  The last time I did these was during the Chicago Life as Rx'd competition when I was 6 weeks.  I did ab-mat sit-ups for awhile, and I maybe still could (you're not supposed to lay on your back once your belly gets big), but I've been subbing toes-to-bar.  I foresee being VERY sore after my first post-pregnancy GHD sit-up wod!
  • 1.5 pood Kettlebell Swings.  One of the first wods I scaled was Eva on 12/5/2011.  I did 35# KB swings rather than 53# (and got 47:51, more than 5 1/2 minutes slower than my rx'd time in February.)  I would probably still be ok with doing heavy kettlebell swings, but 150 of them seemed like it would be excessive strain on my back. 
  • Muscle Ups.  I can still get one or two, but struggling through 10 minutes of failed attempts when wods with MUs came up the last couple weeks, I realized this needs to be a scaled movement in wods for me now (3 dips + 3 pull ups = 1 MU).  But, I'm still alive in my week-by-week pregnant muscle up captured on video :) 
  • Box Jumps.  Well, I haven't exactly scaled these, but I can't do tap-and-go box jumps anymore.  So I've been doing Games style box jumps.  That way I can still tap-and-go off the bottom, but I get an extra second of rest each rep on the top.  I'm sure I'll be scaling to step-ups soon. 
  • Burpees.  I still do burpees, but it's a much more controlled movement than when I used to just flop to the ground. 

Intensity is still the main thing that I've scaled back, especially on longer workouts.  I still push myself, but not to the point of collapsing to the floor after the workout.  During pregnancy, the entire circulatory system expands:  blood pressure decreases, but blood volume increases by up to 40%, the heart pumps more blood per beat, and heartrate increases.  (My heart pounding is very noticable, and annoying, especially when I'm laying down.)  Between this an all my organs getting smooshed together (by 18 weeks, the uterus has grown from the size of a fist to the size of a melon), I get out of breath super fast!

I'm still hopeful I'll be able to participate in the Open, which starts February 22 and runs for 5 weeks.  Let's go CrossFit 515!!!

150 days to go :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Childbirth as rx'd

I'll start this post with this disclaimer: this is my first pregnancy, and I have abolsutely zero idea what labor and delivery are actually going to be like.  So any mothers out there, feel free to tell me I'm completely off base here.   

As a crossfitter and first time mom, the labor and delivery process seems like the ultimate unknown and unknowable.  All of the sudden, 3...2...1...GO!, and you just have to be ready for whatever your body is going to go through.  Justin and I have been attending natural childbirth classes, and last week we talked about the labor process, particularly about the pain of labor.  We started with this quote:

It will hurt.
It will take time.
It will require dedication.
It will require willpower.
You will need to make healthy decisions.
It requires sacrifice.
You will need to push your body to its max.
There will be temptation.
But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it's worth it.
Naturally, I associated the quote with CrossFit. (In fact, I think I've seen it on another CrossFit gym's website before.) The sick thing about crossfitters is that we actually like to put our bodies through pain and push the limits.  Miko Salo did 1,000 burpees for time?  Shit, I can do that.  I'll do 1,001.  (And I did. It took 76:59).  So while talking about the pain of childbirth, I'm sure my reaction was not the typical freaked out, first time mother reaction.  I actually got excited for the process.  It was like being told "there's this super crazy hard workout. I can't even describe it, it hurts so bad. Tons of other women have done it, and you can too, but you have to wait 6 months to try it."  Of course I'm going to get excited to go through this!  I found myself sitting there almost wishing I didn't have to wait until May to do this WOD.  Justin must have had a similar thought because the first thing he asked after class was "so are you just going to treat this like a crazy CrossFit workout?"

A lot of people think the whole natural childbirth thing is silly, but here's how I look at it:  (1) there's a good reason for the pain, (2) I'm way more freaked out about the risks to the baby of unneeded medical intervention than I am about it hurting, and (3) I want to experience what it actually feels like, pain and all.  In CrossFit terms,  med-free labor and delivery = rx'd childbirth, and I'm planning on doing it rx'd.  But labor is going to be like doing a workout with an undetermined number of rounds.  If you told me to do 5 pull ups every minute for an unknown number of minutes, I could do it rx'd for a pretty long time, and I would continue to do it rx'd until my arms were about to fall off and I was finishing the 5th pull up at 59 1/2 seconds, but eventually I wouldn't be able to do it rx'd anymore, and in order to keep doing pull ups I would have to scale and use a band.  If I've been in labor for days and completely miserable, you will probably be able to talk me into drugs.  As long as the end result is a healthy baby, I'll be happy. 

Hmm ... I think I just wrote my birth plan.

166 days to go!