Friday, July 19, 2013

My CrossFit Pregnancy Journey

Many people have asked--- Are you still doing CrossFit?
To which I reply, "Yes!"

During my previous two pregnancies, I worked out at the gym daily throughout my entire pregnancy minus the last month. I went to spin classes (my favorite), did free weights, elliptical, and did a little swimming. It was affordable and I could bring my kids to the daycare center at the gym. It was my Mommy time; a time to refocus and center myself. Basically, it kept me from going completely insane. 
This time, things are different. Instead of going to a traditional gym, I go to a CrossFit gym. CrossFit has been a huge part of my life and I have loved every second of it. Needless to say, a CrossFit post has been long overdue. It helped me lose the baby weight after Maggie, it has tested my will power, it is harder than any other workouts I have experienced, and I finally found something that I'm really good at. Don't get me wrong, I love endurance sports like running and triathlons, but I will always be naturally better at strength and power sports. Looking back on the last 2 years of doing CrossFit, I can't believe how far I've come! It is absolutely incredible! And, I've still got a long way to go.
When I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to see the difference between a CrossFit pregnancy and the previous two. So let me take you along on this journey with me...

Here I am at 18wks doing clean and jerks at 135lbs... This is probably what I'll consider the prime of my pregnancy. I was feeling better and I finally had my energy back. I remember struggling with 95lbs just a year ago and now 135lbs feels like nothing.
One of the absolute hardest things is letting go of ego and doing a weight that feels comfortable without putting too much strain on me or the baby. Weight is completely dependent on what the athlete is comfortable with. This will be different for everyone.

 Normally, my rule of thumb is about 10-20lbs less than normal during my second trimester, and now I'm down 20-25lbs depending on the exercise.
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This is at 16 wks... yep, rope climbs.  I was pretty good at these before I got pregnant, so I felt confident during pregnancy. I wasn't very big yet and still had my balance. I certainly wouldn't have done these if I felt the least bit uncomfortable. In hindsight I kick myself in the butt and think I never should have done these at all with the risk of falling. Needless to say, I didn't do them again.
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It was extremely hard for me to determine how much is too much. Anyone how has done CrossFit knows that every work-out is fast moving and high intensity.  I would sit up in bed at night worrying if I was pushing it too hard. I asked the Lord to please let know when I need to slow down and so far I feel like he has. I'm also grateful for being able to attend a CrossFit Pregnancy Seminar that educated me on proper scales and movements for pregnancy. I feel much more empowered to do what I want to do instead of what everyone else is doing. 

For example, Monday's workout was push-ups, sit-ups, and double unders. Instead, I knew exactly what to do...
For push-ups I got out the elevated pvc bars so my belly wouldn't hit the ground and I could still go full extenstion that way.
For sit-ups I did knee raises on the bar.
And for double unders I did step ups on the box.

Oh, and one more stat for my records is my 5 rep back squat max at 185lbs and one rep max deadlift at 255lbs.  I managed to keep that up all the way to 25 wks! YAY! Deadlift and back squats are some of my favorites. Now it's time to scale way down and watch that lower back more carefully. Plus, my belly is totally getting in the way now. ;)
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This is the big hoo-ra of my pregnancy at 25wks!!!!
The workout is called Fran-
It is a timed workout and 21-15-9 reps of thrusters and pull-ups. 
It is any extremely hard work-out and was the benchmark workout at my gym for the month of June. Every month we do a benchmark workout and the beginning and end of the month to see how we progress. 
It took me over a year to finally do the prescribed weight for this workout meaning 65lbs on the thrusters and kipping pull-ups. My goal was to it in under 9 minutes at the beginning and end of the month and guess what?!?! I did it! I was so excited and even had a babysitter so that Tyler could come and do the workout with me. Tyler really pushed me! I tried to keep up with him and he totally blew me away (to be expected), and I couldn't help but feel like I wasn't going to make my goal. But to my surprise after completing the last pull-up and yelled "TIME!" and looked back at the clock that read- 6:58!!!! What in the world? I was estactic. Needless to say a mixture of working out in the cool morning and having my husband there totally gave me a edge! Holy Smokes! I'm still walking on air about this one.

Tyler took a couple very gross, blurry pictures of me during Fran but I had to share because I'm doing pull-ups dang it! haha!
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Dang! Look at that belly! It's going to be way bigger this time--- I can feel it. ;)
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Me last summer...
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Me this summer! haha! At 27 wks!
As you can see baby doesn't just make my belly big--- it pretty much makes everything big. haha!
I'm going to be a Mommy of three!!!! So excited!
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Because I accidentally deleted all my recent half marathon pictures I decided to wear my t-shirt in these pictures. 
I ran the Austin Half-Marathon back in February at 7 weeks pregnant. I was already signed up and had been training so I thought it would be fine. When I went to the packet expo the lady asked me what size shirt I wanted and I said "XL please." She said, "Are you sure?"
"Don't worry, it will fit perfectly in a few months!" haha!
I didn't push it too hard and enjoyed the course. It definitely took a toll on me. Even at 7wks it made me more sore and tired than I'd been in a long time. 
I ended up with a time of 2:09:28 
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Well, that's it! I'm grateful to have a strong, healthy body that allows me to exercise while being pregnant. 
It is certainly a wonderful thing! Although, I hoped to not gain more than I did with my girls, it looks like I will. That's okay! Especially since I feel better and am in much better overall shape than I was with the girls. 

I love CrossFit. I love exercise. I love feeling strong and capable. I love having a husband who pushes me and encourages me.
And most of all life is wonderful.
If you are even the least curious about CrossFit, I'd encourage you to give it a try. 
I can do hard things.
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Jeni said...

JESS!! You are awesome and nuts at the same time!! LOL! So inspiring & yes, you CAN do hard things. You have proven that over and over. I admire and love you tons!!

Jenni said...

Love, love, love! I'm so excited about this. I have always tried to be "active" while pregnant but seriously walking for 9 months I don't think so. I really feel that there is so much you can do without hurting yourself or your little one, in fact I'm pretty sure it helps you both a ton! You are my hero, keep rocking it and I'll enlist you as my personal coach next around :)

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that this post makes me tear up a little bit? You are seriously an awe-inspiring strong and beautiful woman Jess! :) Even at 27 weeks pregnant! I am seriously so grateful for the example of strength you are to me! Love this!!

Mary Anne said...

So incredible! I think I would totally love CrossFit but have never jumped in. I'd love to be as fit and strong as you! :)