Proud Wife Brag–Hitting the Gym with the Hubby

It’s not often I brag about my husband on here, but I feel the need to do so today.

You see, M has had this lifelong dream to be a police officer. His uncle is a State Trooper, his grandfather a former office. He was in the Security Forces in the Air Force, even guarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base. While he’s very good at sales, he knows where his heart should be. He’s taken steps to gain more experience, with being a security guard at Keeneland, but now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things.

About four years ago he tried out for the local police department–sailing through the written test and moving onto the physical. Unfortunately, he missed passing the physical test by one or two points. That was a big blow to him, and it was to me, too. I hated seeing him miss out on his dream. It was hard to get him going again…

Flash forward to this summer. He knows that because of his age, his time is limited to get onto a police force to go through the academy, so he’s taken the steps to prepare. One Saturday morning we went to Man O’War CrossFit to workout together, and he talked to my coach, Taylor, about working with him. Taylor’s amazing–he knows how to motivate you and get after you, push you past your limits, and yet you don’t hate him (too much, at least). In fact, he somehow makes you want to keep coming in and get better. I knew that’s what M needed. I was very honest with my feelings about how M needed to be accountable for working out consistently and he needed motivation–I knew it wasn’t working with me working with him, so he couldn’t say no to Taylor, right? So the two worked out a plan of attack, and M has gone to the box to work with him twice a week for almost a couple of months now.

We even started a "date day" with a workout a couple weeks ago!

We even started a “date day” with a workout a couple weeks ago!

He’s showing so much improvement, you can see he’s building self confidence back up and physically you can see him losing inches around his waist. Yesterday Taylor had M do a run-through of the police test to see where they stood, and while they knew he was going to need work on the push-ups, he handled the 1 mile run and 300m sprint decently, as well as the bench press. It was a positive sign. Now they know what they need to work on, and they’re more determined than ever.

Now M has to do at least 60 push-ups everyday–20 when he wakes up, 20 after work, and 20 before bed. He’s to start running with me a couple days a week, and he’ll be in the box at least three days a week. Attacking his weak spots, while still working on his total body, is the key to prepare him for his test come late-September.

I hope he’s finding the same self confidence and the same feelings I have when I workout–if it hadn’t been for Man O’War CrossFit, I don’t know how I’d be still standing today. My hope is that he realizes a fitness-based lifestyle is a happier one, for everyone involved. To be able to workout together, run together, and commiserate together is something I’ve wanted for a long time. We’re partners for life now, and I want to be workout partners even more now. Hopefully this will help us raise a healthy, fit, happy child together, as well.

Your turn: Brag a little on your significant other!

Don’t forget! The discount code for the FlipBelt is still going! Save 10% on your entire order with discount code “sweat33” through Sept. 7!

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Running While Pregnant + FlipBelt Review & Discount

By now you know that I’ve been continuing to workout, almost like normal, throughout my pregnancy, and that I plan to continue to do so until I absolutely cannot. That includes running. Back in April I had signed up for the Iron Horse Half Marathon, a race that takes place just 20 minutes from my home that I’ve been wanting to participate in since I started running half marathons. They only allow 1,600 registrants, so you have to register early. Then when I found out I was pregnant, I also found out you couldn’t sell your bib. Doing the math, I’ll be 21-22 weeks pregnant the day of the race (Oct. 12), and my running group was very supportive of helping me continue to train and run in the race. (Some runners have done the same race at 4, 5, and 6 months pregnant.)

So every weekend that I’ve been home, I’ve joined my running group for long training runs. I’ve knocked back my pace from the usual 9:30 to 10:30-11, and have learned to swallow my pride so I am okay with walking when I need to walk. This weekend I tackled nine miles on the Iron Horse course, and while the last few were harder than the first six, I still finished in 1:41:29. According to RunKeeper, my average pace was 11:13, so not too bad. I initially started doing the run 2 minutes, walk 1 minute interval most of the group was doing for the first mile, but running like that seems to make my legs tighter, so I decided I’d just run on my own, watching my pace on my Garmin, and try to see if I could run a certain distance without walking. I made it 3.5 miles before I walked at the turn-around, mostly to grab some Gu Chomps and some water. All in all, it was a decent run.

This was my first run rocking my new FlipBelt. Yep, that’s right!! As part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship, FlipBelt sent me a free belt to try and review. At first I was concerned about having to order a specific size because things don’t fit me like they use to right now, and my belly will only continue to grow as the pregnancy went along, but after I measured around where I usually wear my running belt, I went with the large. large fits comfortably, and leaves plenty of room for growth. I’ll keep you update on how it feels as my belly continues to grow, but right now it’s so comfy!

You can select any color FlipBelt, but I went with the classic carbon...blends well with my running clothes!

You can select any color FlipBelt, but I went with the classic carbon…blends well with my running clothes!

I had a few friends from the running group say they didn’t even notice I was wearing a running belt and they loved how sleek it looked, compared to the “pouch” you get with other running belts. Nothing jiggled, nothing moved. I chose to wear it with the slits out, so I could access my Chomps and my phone during my run. The one complaint I had about the FlipBelt was with my Samsung S4 in it’s (sleeker than most) case, it was hard to get in and out while I was running. (I’d try to get it out to turn on Pandora while I was running, then at one point the change stations when I couldn’t take any more slow songs.) Other than that, nothing bounced, and I’d forget I was wearing it until I got home to strip out of my clothes to shower.

I’ve worn it to walk my dogs, and I wore it when we went hiking on Sunday. I love the Carbon color. I also got the recommended (and free) waterproof plastic bag to place my phone in if I worry about it getting wet from sweating through the fabric or rainy runs, but I haven’t used that yet.

Can you see my running belt? (Please disregard the growing preggo belly...) I love how sleek the FlipBelt fits. The girls give it four paws up!

Can you see my running belt? (Please disregard the growing preggo belly…) I love how sleek the FlipBelt fits. The girls give it four paws up!

Think you might be interested in trying the FlipBelt? Well, you’re in luck, because they’ve agreed to let my readers use a discount code for 10% off until September 7! Simply go to the FlipBelt website, select your purchases, order it here, enter discount code sweat33 for 10% off your entire order.

This is great for those walking their dogs, working out in gym, running, biking, or even running errands. If you’ve been thinking about trying a running belt for any reason, using this discount code is a big help!

Share the news–Click to Tweet: Tweet: Run, play, explore with #FlipBelt! Use the code sweat33 for 10% OFF your entire purchase! http://ctt.ec/9fPaF+ @flipbelt @fitapproach

**Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge as part of my Sweat Pink Ambassadorship and was not compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Your turn: What running products have you tried and liked?

Link Love: Pregnancy Weight, Running + CrossFit, Life Skills

Happy Wednesday!! Looking for a way to get through the Hump Day? Try these three reads for something a little different.

LinkLove

Pregnancy Weight Gain-Number on the Scale (Creating a Better Today): This post hit the nail on the head for me. One of my negative feelings towards pregnancy is the weight gain. I’ve felt so conflicted about gaining weight so early in my pregnancy–five pounds in the first 12 weeks, mind you. For someone who has worked hard to lose weight and get stronger, to see yourself suddenly gaining weight while you’re working out just the same, eating more (but trying to eat healthy), it’s so frustrating. I applaud Sarah for her positive attitude, and I desperately wish I had just a smidgen of that.

Why Runners Should do CrossFit (PopSugar Fitness): I am a huge propent for doing CrossFit and running. While it’s hard to find the right balance of how much of each to do, it’s so worthwhile to change up your workouts. I can’t tell you how much stronger I feel on my runs now that I’ve been doing CrossFit at Man O’War CrossFit for more than a year now. Plus, I’ve had less injuries and recover much better.

49 Life Skills Every Modern Woman Should Have (Huffington Post): This is an eclectic list, y’all! I have to say, I am not good at negotiating much, especially when it comes to salaries. I really need practice on CPR and the Heimlich, but I can change the truck and horse trailer tire (with the horse still inside) with no problems (thanks to my daddy!). I don’t know how to open a bottle of champagne gracefully, but I don’t really drink the stuff (unless it’s in a mimosa) anyway. 😉 How many of these skills do you have?

Your turn: What’s something interesting you’ve read this week?

Recipe: Easy Mexican Slow Cooker Soup

For some reason I never think of using my slow cooker during the summer. I think when it comes to summertime cooking, we focus mostly on grilling. As much as I love grilling, with the way our schedules have been, it hasn’t been the most convenient to grill our meals. Most of the time M’s not home for dinner, and lately I haven’t been feeling up to cooking a full meal for just myself.

The other weekend I was trying to think of what I could make that would be multiple meals for M and I to grab and take to work for lunch/dinner. That’s when I pulled out the slow cooker from storage and went to work. What I came up with was a delicious Mexican soup jam-packed with veggies and protein.

Easy Slow Cooker Soup

wpid-img_20140811_125202.jpg

3 thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cans diced tomatoes with chili peppers
1 can reduced sodium black beans (drained and rinsed)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 package frozen corn
Chicken broth (I didn’t measure, I just poured until most of the ingredients were covered)
Chopped onion, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, black better to taste

  1. Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray to prevent sticking and making cleaning easier
  2. Place 3 thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the slow cooker.
  3. Dump the diced tomatoes, black beans, green bell pepper, and frozen corn on top of the chicken. Pour the chicken broth until most ingredients are covered (maybe 2 cups). Season as needed.
  4. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. After four hours, remove the chicken breasts and shred with forks, then place back in the slow cooker, stir to mix seasoning, veggies, and chicken.
  5. Enjoy!

I was able to ladle the soup into 6 different single serve, reusable containers to make it easy for us to grab and go. I also made some corn muffins to eat alongside and added a little bit of shredded cheese on top when I had some at home. It’s lighter than a chili, so just about perfect for a sumer soup.

Your turn: What’s your favorite summertime slow cooker recipe?

Being the ‘Pregnant Friend’

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how honest I always want to be on this blog. I know there are some bloggers that will only share certain parts of their lives or thoughts, and others who are complete open books. My current situation (re: being pregnant) has been one of those times where I worry about what others might think of me if I shared my completely honest thoughts.

This weekend was a fun one–I got in a (rough) 8-mile run with my running group, then M and I had a “day date” where we started off at Man O’War CrossFit for his workout (which I made up, more on that later) and then lunch at a new place (for us) new UK’s campus. Then he headed off to work, I headed for a nap and waited for a friend from out of town to hit me up.

I went to hang out with some friends for the rest of the afternoon until we went to dinner. It was maybe the first time I felt left out, and I know they didn’t mean anything by it. But it was then that I felt like I was the “pregnant friend.” Over chips and salsa, we laughed and joked. The girls each had margaritas while I rocked the ice water. After dinner we headed back to the house so they could get ready to hit the bars downtown…and the pregnant friend could serve as their bartender. I didn’t mind, though apparently I made the drinks too strong (oops, I’m used to being able to taste my drink as I make them…). Watching them try on clothes, get super cute and laugh really bummed me out. I caught glimpses of myself in the mirror, already having a belly (though it’s not a bump yet, right now just looks like I’ve gained a bunch of weight), and realizing how hard it is for me to get dressed up and look super cute any more.

No more late-night parties for this one...for a few years, at least.

No more late-night parties for this one…for a few years, at least.

I’m sure this will sound petty, maybe selfish or something, but it was sad to leave them as they piled in a car to head downtown and I headed back to my empty house. It was a sudden slap in the face that, from now on, life as I have known it, has changed. Gone are the late nights of drinking and laughing with my single friends. Gone are the days of carpooling with friends to agility trials and sharing a room (I was already told that there would be no “baby wake-up calls” during agility weekends, so I needed to be prepared to have my own room, as well as driving on my own, since a car seat doesn’t fit well in the back with the dog crates and dogs). Gone is my old life. Right now, I’m the “pregnant friend” and soon I’ll be that “friend-with-a-kid”.

I’m sure every mom-to-be has had this realization, and maybe they all see it or handle it differently. For me, it’s hard. Real hard. When the majority of your friends are either childless or just free of any major concerns, you are the odd-man-out. It’s been one of major fears ever since I found out I was pregnant–being abandoned by my friends that I’ve grown to love and be close to. Again, it might sound selfish, but I’ve always been one to rely on friends, and I hate to see a change in our relationships.

I’ve had family tell me it’ll be alright, that you should expect a change in your dynamic of friends when there’s such a big change in your family dynamic, and perhaps I’ll become closer with the couple of friends who already have children, and maybe I’ll make new ones. But I’m one of those hangers-on, and I don’t accept change very well. Yes, I’ll have my husband, and I’ll be immersed in caring for “Baby A+W”, so much so that maybe I won’t realize how much I miss those friends. And, yes, I do believe that if someone is important to you, and you are important to them, they’ll make the attempt to still be there and still be friends and be a part of your life–if they don’t, then perhaps they weren’t that good of a friend.

(haha Sorry for the middle finger, but I thought this was perfect)

(haha Sorry for the middle finger, but I thought this was perfect)

For now, it’s just another part of accepting the major changes going on in my life right now–one huge rollercoaster of fears, thoughts, emotions, and life.

Related read:

 

Working Out While Pregnant? No Brainer!

Ever since people have found out that I’m pregnant, the number one question I get (besides, “How do you feel?”) has been “Are you going to cutback on working out like you have been?”

Uhhh…NO.

It would be insane for me to do so!

why workout

At our first ultrasound appointment, meeting with our nurse, she went through the dos and don’ts of pregnancy, with one of them being to not life more than 25 pounds. Excuse me? I immediately raised my hand to stop her and said, “That’s going to be a problem…” and went on to explain my physical activities on a weekly basis: CrossFit 3-4 days a week, running 1-2 days a week, sand volleyball 2 nights a week, dog agility, lots of dog walks, and hiking. She looked at me with an open mouth and said I was probably the most physically active patient they’d ever had. I then said, “I just clean and jerked 80 pounds yesterday…and that was cutting back on my weight.”

For me, not lifting, not running, not working out is NOT an option. And it shouldn’t be for any woman, pregnant or not.

I got the OK from my OB to continue with the CrossFit and running, with the understanding that I was listening to my body, slowing my pace, and cutting back on my weights. I’ve been doing a lot of research on running and CrossFitting while pregnant, and have to thank Tina and Lindsay for their encouragement for working out while pregnant. They are inspirations! My running group knows I’m pregnant, and quite a few ladies told me they ran the same half marathon I’m training for 2, 4, 5, and even 6 months pregnant.

Some people are surprised that I’m still going to Man O’War CrossFit as often as I am and lifting. If I didn’t workout like I have been, I’d go nuts. Trust me–you wouldn’t want to be around me if I haven’t been active in more than a day.

I saw this video on Facebook the other day, and it made me want to stand up and shout, “Yes!”

My feelings on the whole “Do not lift more than 25 pounds during pregnancy” is that this advice is antiquated, and if there are women out there who regularly workout, but are afraid to go against the grain and not follow the pregnancy books word for word, I’m afraid they’re doing themselves, and their baby, a disservice.

One of the sites I’ve discovered for moms-to-be doing CrossFit is CrossFit Mom. I totally recommend checking this site out if you CrossFit (or even want to workout, in general) while pregnant.

This week I’ve played in one sand volleyball game (don’t worry, the season is done for one team, and I’m finishing up with this team, and I’ll be off the courts until next Spring…), hit up the box twice, and walked the dogs. We’ve been working on checking our 1-rep maxes and hitting new PRs this week, but Taylor has been good about keeping me in check. For instance, when my old back squat PR of 145 felt real easy, I started thinking “Should I go for it?” Taylor saw me thinking and said, “I see you thinking…if you’re thinking, then no. Do not push it.” So, I didn’t. When we went to run our 1 mile for time, I told myself I would go for whatever I felt comfortable, and to keep in check my breathing and just go with it. When I finished that mile in 8:01, I said, “Oops.” Because that was my usual, pre-pregnancy 1 mile PR…I didn’t mean to go that fast, but I was comfortable and felt fine!

So, yes, I’m going to continue working out and continue to be active. Will I push myself as hard as I did pre-pregnancy? No. I’m learning my limits and learning to take things easy. I don’t want to endanger my baby in any way, but I also want us both to be healthy (and sane).

Link Love: Running Less, CrossFit Games, CrossFit Love

It’s time for another Link Love, where I’m happy to share some of my recent reads I’m loving lately.

LinkLove

The Benefits of Running Less (Runners’ World): I tested this theory over the spring, training for my third half marathon while running less and doing more cross-training (at Man O’War CrossFit), and I have to say I was very impressed with how I came out–no injuries for the first time in three years, and a new PR! For some runners, our bodies can’t take the constant pounding everyday–I’ve discovered that way too often. Instead, the CrossFit has helped my endurance and my overall strength. What do you think of running less?

For the Love of CrossFit: Everyone’s All In It Together at the Games (SportsIllustrated.com): This is why I love CrossFit, and this is why I have no problem supporting it! If you happened to catch any part of the games last weekend, you would have seen some of the greatest athletes in the world competing, and the best fans. Fans that cheer louder for the last person still working than for the winner. The winner, and those finishing close to first, cheering on and coaching the later finishers and pushing them towards their greatness. At the games, the women are treated equally as the men–same WODs (just scaled weights), same prize money and prizes (there’s a novel idea), etc. Where else do you see that kind of celebration?