In flux

I started a new job this week.  This single event has thrown my house into a weird state of transition.  It’s amazing how many things are affected by my returning to work outside the house full time.

As a result, I have been working like mad to adjust to this new state of being.  I’ve managed to fit in workouts, and I’ll blog about them soon, but at the same time, I just need time to get settled.  I mean, seriously — my new job has changed just about everything.  Everyone here is getting used to this change, although I think everyone but me is handling it extremely well.  It’s painfully apparent that I am on the verge of OCD because of how much stress I feel not being in control of where plastic-wear is put away, how the dishwasher is loaded and whether Luke’s mattress pad goes in the dryer.

Yeah.  I actually caught myself feeling stressed out about that stuff.

I skipped my usual Wednesday workout to chill out and sleep.  That’s not going too well.  It’s already 10pm and I’m up super early in the morning.  But all of my things are ready to go so I can run out the door super fast.

Thank goodness I’ve been working on running faster.

Fight for Air Climb

I signed up for something really different.  It’s not a run — it’s a climb, and it’s for an organization I’ve supported for a long time, because my dad works for the CDC in tuberculosis control.
Here’s the letter that was suggested.  Unfortunately, the tool doesn’t share on Facebook or Twitter.

Dear friends,

Soon I will be joining thousands of others from around the country in this year’s Fight for Air Climbs to raise money for the American Lung Association. I am gathering donations and walking to help fight asthma, lung cancer, COPD and dozens of other lung diseases.

I am asking or your help. By making a contribution on my behalf, you will be helping the American Lung Association provide community based education programs, fight for cleaner air standards and fund life-saving research.

Asthma is the number one cause for school absenteeism and every day in this country at least 10 people die from an asthma attack, thus it is important that we provide disease management education to children when they are 8, 9 or 10 years old. Lung Cancer is the leading cause of cancer death globally and is woefully under funded when it comes to research, thus is essential that we generate the awareness needed to increase resources for advanced research projects. The average age for American’s to start a smoking habit is 14, thus it is critical that we get into the elementary schools and teach children about the dangers of tobacco use early.

My goal is to raise $100 for our cause. Please go to my personal web page and make a $5, $10 or $20 gift. All gifts are fully tax deductible as The American Lung Association is a 501(c)3 organization and is in fact one of the most recognized nationally for proper management of the resources entrusted them since they began in 1904. You will receive a notice in the mail from me thanking you for your gift which you can then use for your tax filing next year. You may also make checks payable to The American Lung Association and mail them to our local office.

Please take a deep breath….and be thankful that you can. Millions of others suffer from lung disease daily and your support makes the every day act of breathing that much easier for many people.

Together we can fight lung disease successfully.

Click here to visit my personal page.
If the text above does not appear as a clickable link, you can visit the web address:
http://action.lungusa.org/site/TR?px=4526886&pg=personal&fr_id=2740&et=jrsOcKNPR4IiT8EkpBbWEw..&s_tafId=15441

Climbing the Frost Bank Tower should be really interesting.  I have a feeling this is gonna hurt.

About that pink stuff…

You may remember I ran the Race for the Cure last year.

It was not my favorite event.

At the time, I felt as if I was doing something noble — running for a worthy cause to cure a disease that has affected many people I know, including my mom.  It was also my first 5K, and I’m still proud of that

But now, I’m a bit soured on that whole “pink movement.”

I’ve struggled lately to come to terms with my feelings.  It didn’t make sense to me that I should feel so hostile to all that pink, especially since in the past year a colleague I deeply respected succumbed to breast cancer and it made a reappearance in my mom, who is a 15+ year survivor.

Then today I read a column in the New York Times Magazine that kind of summed it all up for me.

Will I run the Race for the Cure again?  Maybe.  Who can say how anyone will feel a year from now?

But I know that right now, I don’t need breast cancer to be sexualized, flippant or in my face. It’s very real, and I’m already quite aware of it and its horrors, thank you.

Recommended reading

There’s kind of a weird thing that happens when you have a newborn in the house — you gain time and lose it all at the same time.

Weird, huh?

I’ve struggled to find time to work out when I’m not deathly exhausted.  Usually the time I have is either REALLY early in the morning or after the 4-year-old goes to bed.  But I also have to balance that time with household chores and work.

But I’ve also found time.  There’s not much I can do while I’m nursing other than use the computer or read.  And I’ve been reading — a lot.

Most recently, I finished Michael Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.  Good book.  It’s similar in many ways to the documentary Food, Inc., in the issues it raises, but it’s far more in depth and very interesting.  I really like the way he weaves his story together, especially the section where he visits a farm in Virginia — the same farm featured in Food, Inc., but I feel like I understand the way the farm operates much better now.

I’m just beginning Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution.  Honestly, he’s preaching to the choir with me, but it’s still interesting.  I just wish he didn’t constantly try to dumb down the concepts so much.  I mean, I know he’s trying to make the information accessible to all and drive his point across, but, honestly, if someone bought the book, he doesn’t need to spend so much time trying to convince the reader to read it.  Anyway….

I finally found time to do some strength work last night.  I was hoping to do a mini met-con afterward, but baby girl needed me and I had to end it.

5×5
Shoulder Press
Lunge

Results:
Press: 45-45-50-55-60
Lunge: 45-45-45-45-45

My press is much stronger than it used to be.  Doing 5 rounds of 5 reps at that weight is a major accomplishment.  Yay!  As for the weighted lunges, I took it easy.  Lunges are one of those activities that I scaled during pregnancy — I was unable to touch my knee to the ground.  So last night I focused on form and kept the weight manageable.

Now to decide whether to run the Turkey Trot’s 5 mile route or just walk the 1 mile route.  Hmmmm….

Unstoppable me

I have to make an effort to not pile the activities on during my days.  It’s something I’ve gotten much better at doing as my son has grown older, but it’s still a work in progress.  I just have a lot of interests, a lot of people I want to see and a lot of things I want to do.

It’s hard to choose, and it’s even harder to slow down unless I’m forced to.

Now that I’m able to be out and about, I WANT to be, baby or no.  I hate being reclusive, and I want to be there for my son, too!

Today, when I took him to his school’s fall festival (after a morning hair appointment, trip to the Farmer’s Market and violin lesson), a friend from the school commented that I’m unstoppable, since I’m out and about with kids in tow just 4 weeks after birth.

Unstoppable?  I never thought of myself like that.  I guess that’s true.  I’ve had people also call me driven and ambitious.  Personally, I’m just restless.  That’s all.  I can’t stand sitting still.

Well, I sat still long enough yesterday to eat some ice cream during a rare quiet moment at home.  Of course, afterward, I insisted on working out.  But Mads has been restless too lately, and has needed my attention, so it had to be short and inside.  So here’s what we cooked up.

4 rounds
15 DB thrusters (15#)
15 sit ups
15 lunges

Time: 12:12

Afterward, Andy and I traded off trying to lull the baby to sleep.

Andy soothes Madeline

MadelineSleep.  It’s so important.  Thankfully I’m getting 5-6 hours of interrupted sleep each night.  It won’t be forever, but I’m definitely not operating at peak performance.  Haha!

If you’re able to sleep, get some!  And be thankful that you can!

Time to set another goal — reconquer the box jump

I am itching to return to class.

Seriously.

I know I need to let my body rest, but I just want to MOVE and get back to life.  Everything is already so weird and different — I just want something old and familiar.

So when I saw the workout my class did yesterday, I talked Andy into doing it at home.

5 rounds
200m run
20 box jumps
10 shoulder press @ 70% max

It seemed pretty doable… that is until I tested myself doing a jump on our back deck (which is less than 20″ by the way — shorter than the standard 20″ box at the gym).

My shin, all cut up and starting to swellThe above is the result of that test jump.  OW.  It looked worse today — all blue and black.

You’ll recall, I haven’t jumped on a box since fairly early on in my pregnancy — last spring.  I’ve been doing step ups ever since as a substitute.

The test jump was my first since that time, and I  didn’t make it.  I didn’t pull both legs up at once, misjudged the distance, and fell back in pain.  I almost called it quits for the entire workout, but Andy said “3,2,1… go!” before I could utter a word about calling it a night because my leg hurt so much.  Once I got going, everything was fine.

Last night was also my first run in months.  That went much better.  I took it slower than I probably needed to (my running was more of a jog), but I was steady.  It also gave me confidence that I will be running 5K’s sooner than I initially believed.

As for the shoulder press, 70# is my max, so I went with 45# for the WOD, which was plenty challenging.

Time: 19:17

And now I’ve added another goal to my list: Conquer the box!!!  I think I’ll be starting a little lower next time.  And in the daylight.  I will get this!  You’ll see!

From pill to playful

Luke did not have school today.  It seems like such a simple matter, but I was worried.  Andy would be going in to the office and I would be home with a newborn and a 4-year-old.  ALONE.

As it turns out, things went really well, and for the first time in… I don’t know — months?… I was: playful.

What does this have to do with working out?   I keep reading on Mark’s Daily Apple about the importance of playfulness, and through the last couple of months of being pregnant and the past month of recovery, I have definitely NOT been playful.

In fact, looking back, I’ve been a bit of a pill.  And I feel bad for everyone around me.  It’s so much more fun being around people who are joyous.  I can only imagine how my son must have felt when nearly every time he invited me to play he heard, “NO.”

Anyway, today was a big change for me, and it did wonders for my relationship with my son, not to mention my sanity.  I’m still tired and recovering, but I’m a lot better off than I was 4 weeks ago.

On Saturday I walked for a little more than a mile on the trail at Lady Bird Lake, pushing Luke in the stroller and carrying Mads in the sling half of the way.  Then Andy and I worked on some strength.

Shoulder press
5×5
Pistols
5×3

Results: 45-50-55-55-60

The pistols started off sucking, but they got better.  I used a rope to steady myself, and I probably relied on it a little too much.

We skipped Sunday because we took the kids to the pumpkin patch and walked and walked and walked and walked.  Talk about lots of movement!  Then tonight I dreamt up what initially felt like some kind of torture.

30-20-10
One-armed DB snatch (20#)
DB Deadlift (2 x 20#)
Dips

Time: 10:53

A shower, which has become more of a treat than a habit lately, was thoroughly enjoyed after the workout.  AHhhhhhhhh…  cleanliness.

I feel like I should write down more useful information in this blog — more sage advice, so-to-speak — so people will actually get something out of it.

But no, at this point I’m too focused on myself to worry.  Maybe next month?

The past few days have been filled with waiting and watching.  I’ve been conscientious about fitting in workouts, but less so about nutrition.  (At my baby shower on Saturday I ate an insane amount of sugar — to the point where my heart was palpitating.  It was awesome at the time, but I’m having trouble going back to normal.)

Friday

“Anjolie”
5 rounds
10 lunges
10 hang power cleans (20# dumbbells)
10 dips

Time: 9:42

I may have done 6 rounds.  I lost count and did another round just in case.

Saturday (before the sugar rush)

AMRAP 15 min
12 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls (25# DB)
8 dips
8 push ups
12 one-armed kettlebell swings (Russian swings @ 20#)

Finished 6 rounds + SDLHPs + dips + 5 push ups

Sunday

Active rest — gardening

Monday

“Gabrielle”
21-15-9
Overhead squats (45# bar)
Push ups
Step ups

Time: 10:32

Good times….

Just heal

Bleary-eyed, I am sitting at my desk, sipping peppermint tea with honey and lemon, trying to catch up with hundreds of blog posts that are in my Google Reader after three days of craziness.

And three days of craziness have resulted in sleep deprivation, stress and the inevitable succumbing to whatever virus Luke has brought home and exposed me to.  Take note, people — you’ve got to take care of your bodies if you want to feel good.

There’s no rest for me for a while, so I’m trying to cope.  I’m sure I’ll be sipping on hot tea with lemon and honey all day just to get through my son’s 4th birthday party — it’s just something I don’t want to miss.  But I will be resting from workouts for a couple of days until it doesn’t hurt to breathe and swallow.

My last workout was a gasser.  On Thursday we did this:

Strength
3×3
Front Squat

Results: 75-85-95

I kept it conservative, but 95# still felt kind of tough.

Then we did a boot camp-style WOD:

3 rounds
45 lunges
30 pushups
15 burpees

Time: 12:08 (push ups elevated on 14″ box and sprawls)

I’m going to focus on healing for a couple of days.  Have a great weekend!

Me vs. mosquitoes

Am I the only one who thinks the flies and mosquitoes are totally out of control this year?  It’s INSANE!

I’m constantly swatting flies inside, and forget seeing me out in the yard too much — the mosquitoes make a meal out of me.

But sometimes I can’t avoid it when I want to use the bar.  I spray heavily with bug repellent and hope I make it through with only a few bites.  Tonight I did this workout (by myself, because Andy’s shoulder is really bothering him):

“Baby Isabelle”
30 Hang Power Snatch (45#)

It started tough, grew a little easier and then got tougher again.

Time: 4:20

I felt like my legs were a little neglected, so Andy and I cooked up a little something.

AMRAP 10min
Lunges (back and forth across the yard — about 27 or 30)
25 squats

I finished 6 or 7 rounds — lost track

Nothing like a shower to get that nasty bug spray off.  Now — some shut-eye!  Got another long day of work ahead of me again tomorrow!