Friday, April 27, 2012

One Month To Go!

(almost) 36 weeks

It's hard to believe I'm getting so close to the end of my pregnancy.  It's also hard to believe that I (probably) have another month of getting even BIGGER!  I still don't have any major pregnancy complaints, but I am getting a little sick of being huge.  But I'm not showing any signs of having to back off the workouts.  I actually made it to the 5:30 a.m. class twice this week - big accomplishment! 

Earlier this week, Justin and I threw down in our tiebreaker workout made up by Bobby:

200m row
20 hang power clean & jerks (95/65)
200m row
20 hang power snatches (95/65)
100m row
10 front squats (95/65)
100m row
10 overhead squats (95/65)

Justin: 7:08
Lindsay: 7:52

Not very fair with all the rowing, but Justin threatened to delete the video if he didn't win.  He took the win well though:

Congrats, Justin.  Good win.  Moving on ...

I always like hearing the experiences of other pregnant crossfitters.  This article was recently published in the CrossFit Journal:  (free download by clicking the link on the right).  I love her message: "CrossFit taught me about patience in the midst of physical pain, and pregnancy and labor reinforced this lesson in a different but surprisingly symbiotic way. The two complement each other perfectly, and the result is healthy women and healthy babies. In many ways, that was more rewarding for me than a new PR or fitting back into my clothes."  Something I'll try and keep in mind when I'm going through labor!
Other news:  Bobby and my official final weigh-in day will be May 16, the day before he leaves for regionals.  He's really stepped up his weight gain efforts.  If this baby arrives before then, I'm in trouble!

30 days left! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pregnant WOD Challenges

After recovering from my heartbreaking defeat in "Baby Grace" a couple weeks ago, I challenged Justin to a rematch wod.  "Baby Isabel" - 30 hang power snatches (95/65):

This time, I walked away with the win.  (Lindsay - 1:14; Justin - 1:23).  Losing to your pregnant wife is embarrassing, so of course he had excuses:  "Hand was chewed up from 100 pullups the day before and had done lots of 'heavy' snatches immediately before. And I'm just not that good at crossfit, and Lindsay is amazing and great. And apparently I just suck at doing anything unbroken."  It's 1-1 in the series; tiebreaker wod will be going down soon. 

Jaime wanted to get in on the pregnant wod challenge action as well.  Taking the creativity to a new level, Jaime strapped a 20# med ball to her belly.  (Because this totally simulates what it's like to be pregnant ... especially the post-wod birthing of her ball baby).  "Mama Bear":  7 bear complexes, 7 front burpees or back burpees, 7 bear complexes.  Jaime - 1:57; Lindsay - 2:18.  Should have known going to head to head with Jaime on a barbell wod wouldn't end well for me. 

Scaling -

With just over 5 weeks until my due date, I'm finding that I'm scaling more and more.  For example, movements this week:

- Regular pulls instead of chest to bar (I could maybe still struggle through C2B, but there were 55 of them in the workout so it would have been silly)

- Air squats for pistols (I don't think I've done pistols in a workout since November just because they haven't come up.  Although I don't really notice differences in my balance or loosening of joints/ligaments, pistols would definitely not be smart to do at this point)

- Push jerk weight scaled down from 105# to 85#.  105# isn't that heavy, but just cleaning the weight around my belly is getting awkward.

- Box jump height scaled down from 24" to 20".  Still doing box jumps to step downs.

- Double unders - still doing these, but in sets of 15-20 jumps to keep from getting too gassed.     

Regional wods

Finally, Regionals wods were announced this week and since I'm not competing this year, I'll share my opinion:  I don't like the progamming.  Maybe it's just because I would suck at these workouts -- if I were competing in Regionals this year (which I have little doubt I would have made it were I not pregnant), I would have paid $100 to compete in 2 workouts the first day with a guaranteed ticket home after wod 3.  Maybe I'm underestimating the beastliness of the female crossfitters out there, but 70# one arm dumbbell snatches?!  Dumb.  I will not be attempting any max one arm dumbbell snatches anytime soon, but I'm pretty confident it's far from 70#.  I'm predicting many female DQs after wod 3. 

Obviously, they think they need to overcompensate on the "heavy" stuff at Regionals because the Open wods are so light.  I agree with testing this component, but I think it should be tested some during the Open and some during Regionals.  The Open is over; all that matters is Regionals, and I don't see why freak strength is emphasized over the other components of CrossFit.  My biggest criticism is with wod 3 because of the way it's filtering the competition -- only women that can one arm snatch a 70# dumbbell (ten times in ten minutes) have a shot at making it to the Games; after wod 3 (actually, after wod 2), women will only be compared against other women who can one arm snatch a 70# dumbbell.  Where's the workout that disqualifies you immediately if you can't run a sub-6:00 mile, then only compares your strength with others who can also run a 6:00 mile?  

This shows the type of athletes CrossFit and Reebok want representing the sport on ESPN this summer, and I suppose there's nothing wrong with that.  I am, however, skeptical about whether this is smart marketing.  Yes, strong is sexy, but somehow I think there will be far fewer ladies out there watching the Games this year and thinking "wow, I want to look like her."  I could go on, but mini rant over (for now). 

37 days left!

Thursday, April 12, 2012 is a great starting place for women that want to continue or start crossfitting while pregnant.  The site gives scaling guidelines and programs a workout of the day that mirrors mainsite.  We follow mainsite programming at CrossFit515, so it has been convenient for me to reference crossfitmom for movement modification ideas.  However, I think most women that have been crossfitting somewhat competitively before pregnancy will find (like me) that many of the crossfitmom workouts are too scaled down. 

For example, one of the mainsite workouts last week was 30 squat clean and jerks at 155/105.  I did the workout rx'd, making sure my form didn't suffer as I got tired, and did it in 8:20.  The crossfitmom version of this WOD was "Baby Grace" -- 30 hang power clean and jerks at 65#.  Justin and I went head to head.  It was a fun mini WOD, but certainly not enough to make me feel like I did much of anything other than warm up. 

Justin - 1:13
Lindsay - 1:24
I know the recommendations on are intentionally conservative, as they should be.  So this has been my approach:  if I have a "should I be doing this?" CrossFit related question, crossfitmom is one of the first places I look.  I trust that anything I'm doing that (a) is comfortable for me, and (b) is crossfitmom approved is completely safe for me and the baby.  If crossfitmom says to avoid something, then I look into the "why" behind her recommendation.  Examples: 

- Barbell lifts from the ground.  Crossfitmom never programs barbell lifts from the ground, always from the hang position.  Deadlifts are always programmed as kettlebell deadlifts so the weight is under you rather than in front.  Why?  Because "pulling weight from in front of you requires a lot of mid-line stabilization which can put too much strain on the uterus after the first trimester."  I agree, straining for heavy deadlifts while pregnant is something I should avoid, but if my form is good and the weight isn't heavy (i.e. I'm not straining), I don't see a problem with barbell deadlifts.  I don't think I'm being reckless with this -- 305# is my max deadlift, and 155# is the most I've done in workouts since November.  I've continued to do other barbell movements from the ground too. 

- Handstands.  Crossfitmom recommends avoiding inverted exercises beginning in the second trimester, the reasoning being you are more likely to be off balance because of your belly or get dizzy and fall because of your increased blood volume while pregnant.  I still feel comfortable being upside down, and I've actually felt more balanced doing handstands during my pregnancy than I did before.  If being upside down made me feel dizzy, I would definitely stop, but as long as it feels good, I'll continue to do handstands.   

- Squatting below parallel.  Crossfitmom says not to squat below parallel because of the relaxin horomone (looser joints) and the risk of injury.  This is also the reason she says to switch from box jumps to step-ups.  I don't squat as low as I used to (which tended to be too low), partly because my belly is now in the way, but (I think) I still go at least to parallel, if not below.  I haven't noticed changes because of the "loose joints" thing (maybe I will soon because it ramps up at the end of pregnancy), but it's something I'm careful about, and I think a lot more about my form when squatting.

My only complaint with crossfitmom is that I think she sometimes changes the rep schemes of workouts unnecessarily and arbitrarily.  For example, on April 7, 2012 the hero wod "Pheezy" was programmed --
3 rounds of 
5 front squats (105# for rx'd women)
18 pull ups
5 deadlifts (155#)
18 toes to bar
5 push jerks (105#)
18 hand release push ups
[My rx'd -- except with belly-to-deck rather than hand release push ups -- time:  22:50]. 
For "Baby Pheezy," crossfitmom scaled the weights to 65# (front squats and jerks) and 32 kg (kettlebell deadlifts) and changed the rep scheme to 10 reps of everything for 3 rounds.  10 reps of everything would probably actually be a better (more intense) CrossFit workout; of course, increasing the intensity is not the goal during pregnancy.  I don't see anything wrong in this workout with keeping the rep scheme in tact with the scaled weights, particularly for a hero wod where there's a meaning behind the number of programmed reps (representing May 18, 2010, the date U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Philip P. Clark died). 

I'm almost 34 weeks along, and everything is definitely getting harder and slower.  But for the most part, I'm still following mainsite / CrossFit 515 programming and doing the wods rx'd.  I feel like I'm getting noticeably bigger by the day, so we'll see how long that keeps up.   

44 days left!

Friday, April 6, 2012

32 Week Weigh-In

Pre-pregnancy weight: 125 lbs.
Weight at 25 weeks: 144.5 lbs.
Current weight: 155.5 lbs.
Current weight gain: 30.5 lbs
Target weight gain: 25-35 lbs.
Ideal rate of gain: 1 lb per week 
Goal weight: 150-160 lbs.

Starting weight: 175 lbs.
Weight at 25 weeks: 185.9
Current weight: 190.9 lbs.
Current weight gain: 15.9 lbs 
Target weight gain: 20 lbs.
Ideal rate of gain: 1-2 lbs per 2 weeks
Goal weight: 195 lbs.

My weight tends to be all over the place when I weigh myself on the official weigh-in scale at the gym; my scale at home seems to think I've been holding tight around 150 lb for the last couple weeks, and my weight was 153 lbs at my doctor's office yesterday. So, I've gained somewhere around 25-30 pounds. My thinking is that as long as I continue to eat right and am able to workout, then however much weight I gain is the amount the baby needs me to gain to be heathy.  At this point, I think most of the weight gain from increased blood volume, fluid, the placenta, and fun things like that is complete.  The baby weighs around 4 pounds right now and is gaining about 1/2 a pound per week.

Impressively, Bobby has continued to gain weight.  How? He started being a carnivore again.  Bobby is now eating paleo and feels like he's lost water weight and gotten leaner and stronger.  He still can't beat me though ... at Crossfit, at gaining weight, or at life.

Bobby v. Lindsay:  Pregnant Challenge WOD Series
3 Rounds
20 foot handstand walk
15 hang cleans (Bobby 155#, Lindsay 65#)
10 overhead squats (Bobby 155#, Lindsay 65#)

"Is there any weight on your bar?" is what Bobby said after his first set of hang cleans.  The weights obviously weren't very fair, but Bobby wanted to go heavy.  I talked him down from 185# when I told him 65# wouldn't get that heavy for me and I thought I could do it unbroken.  Probably would have been a better race at 135/65. If you're keeping score, it's Lindsay 2, Bobby 1.

Hey, look, I have some fans from the CrossFit haters on the Couch Thread (this is a 6+ year long message board thread of a bunch of pathetic dorks talking shit about CrossFit.  Note: they are not really "fans" -- they are mean).  This is a fun one: "If you are so worried about what's going to happen to your body if you don't treat your WODs like a war and do box jumps and kipping pull-ups and what-have-you that you decide you're going to blindly keep pushing yourself through your pregnancy no matter what, don't get pregnant."  Um, this is not what I am doing.  I'm pretty sure in every video I've posted while pregnant you will notice me taking breaks and getting drinks of water (not things I would have done during workouts before being pregnant).  I haven't scaled things that I'm still able to do comfortably because I haven't felt a need to.  If anything is uncomfortable, I don't do it.   
I especially like the interpretation that I can't wait to not be pregnant because the baby is burdening my workouts.  In fact, I probably like being pregnant more than 99% of women, mostly (I think) because of the way I'm treating my body during pregnancy.  I'm finding out that by this stage in pregnancy (being huge) you get asked all the time "are you so ready for it to be over?!"  I never know quite how to answer this because of course I'm excited to meet our little guy/girl, but that's not why anyone asks this question.  They ask because they assume I must be uncomfortable and miserable and hating pregnancy at this point.  And the truth is, I'm not.  I feel really good and have few complaints.  But yes, I am excited to be able to workout at my normal intensity again.   

And the purpose of my blog is not to talk about how excited I am to bond with / nurture my child or any other aspect of my life other than doing CrossFit while being pregnant.  The purpose (beyond me being an attention whore) is to be a resource to other pregnant women that want to continue doing CrossFit.  I wanted to put out there what I've been able to continue to do while staying safe and healthy during my pregnancy.  I address so many "should I be doing this?" issues because those are questions I figure other pregnant crossfitting women will have.    

One other point.  Other than the comments about me, I haven't wasted my time reading what these winners rant about, but I think one of their main criticisms of CrossFit is how it's so dangerous and people get hurt all the time.  (i.e. "It's one thing to do physical activity associated a job or even a sensible workout [while pregnant]. It's something else entirely to do workouts that cause injuries in a normal 'healthy' population.")  CrossFit gets this criticism a lot.  My personal experience is that pregnant or not, I have never injured myself doing CrossFit, nor have I felt like I'm doing anything likely to cause injury.  Running used to be my primary mode of working out -- I did a few marathons in college, which led to bad IT band problems and eventually kept me from doing much of anything besides some swimming for about 6 months and prevented me from running the Boston marathon.  Prior to starting CrossFit, I had a shoulder issue that almost always bothered me when lifting weights; since starting CrossFit, the shoulder pain has gone away.  I simply disagree that CrossFit is more dangerous or likely to cause me injury than a "sensible" workout program.  

Anyway, I figure they must really dig deep for CrossFit related things to cry about for my blog to make the list.  Thanks for all the traffic to my blog though.

50 days left!