Category Archives: defiant

Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 10 & 11 & 12

There’s an 8 month post coming soon, but that requires more thought. So strong mom diary first.

Omg: sleep. It makes everything so much easier. Now that baby only wakes me up twice a night, I feel like a new woman. And being able to add regular exercise back into my life has me almost feeling like my old self.

Even though I haven’t lost any weight since January, just being able to move my body and feel my heart beating hard and breathing deep makes me feel so much better about myself. When I’m able to exercise, apparently I don’t give a fig about what I look like. I’m passing skinny girls on my runs and giving them thumb’s up and grinning like a maniac and only after do I briefly have a flash of do-they-assume-I’m-only-doing-this-to-lose-weight? But then it’s gone almost as soon as it arrives.

Versus just a few weeks ago, where even walking around in public I felt self conscious. Now I just feel badass.

Fingers crossed no one comes down with any awful illnesses and/or goes through any sleep regressions soon. I just need a few more weeks of this and then I feel like I’ll be able to handle anything thrown my way.

I ran on Tuesday. Since that’s my self-employed free-form day, I decided to indulge in a long run. So I ran my first 5k since easily last January (2016). It was slow, but not as slow as I’d expected. I just wanted to complete three miles, and I did. Not gonna lie, felt pretty awesome/sore after.

 

On Wednesday, I lifted. I didn’t have as much time because W-F are my strict 9am-6pm workdays, but I squeezed in a 5×3 heavy deadlift and a 5×5 set of ring rows. I wanted to throw in a quick crossfit-style workout, but alas. Besides, it’s okay to just keep chiseling at this instead of throwing myself in and getting too sore/too overwhelmed.

 

Another run this morning, this one shorter and faster. Also holy humidity, batman. Michigan has really ratcheted up its SUMMER levels this last week. Makes me (almost) wish I was in AZ. Then I see that it’s going to 115 there all next week and I’m okay with the humidity.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Day 9

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow ow owwwwwww

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 6 & 7 & 8

Oof. I got started and almost immediately fell off the wagon again, didn’t I? I had… something, because I was exhausted most of last week despite getting sleep. On top of that, Dr Lady had hand, foot, and mouth disease, which not only stole her energy, but her ability to walk or use her hands for a few days. On top of that Lady Jr was going through some sort of leap, because she was super clingy and not okay with anything but being held. And she kept getting up at 5.30am. So like. Yeah.

On top of that, I have to finish edits on my novel so I can turn it in on July 1st and holy shit we’re a week into June already, so every available minute not holding baby (or otherwise interacting with her) has been spent working.

BUT THAT IS NO EXCUSE

I did manage to run twice in the last week (woo). And today I (finally!) lifted.

First:

Holy wow! Two of those times are under 11min, the first time I’ve managed that since before I gave birth. Progress, yass. And I could even tell while running that it was feeling easier. Those first two miles felt like a breeze.

Second:

Even better. I mostly look at the first two miles, because mile three is a half mile and I’m pretty much tuckered out and slowing down at that point in general. So I’ll take two more under 11/min miles.

And then today I lifted. No pics because I wanted to get in and get done and have time leftover to pump and drink water before getting back to work. But I did a crossfit-inspired workout. In fact, I modified it from a WOD posted by my old box (here).

For strength:
5 sets of 3 push press, working up to a 3 rep max. I topped out at 85#. I suspect I could have gone heavier, but since I’m just getting back into this I’m okay with 85#.

For completion (untimed):
5 rounds of
10 empty bar thrusters (45#)
6 ring-rows

Aaand now my arms are noodles.

Tomorrow I plan on going for another run. What can I say? I’m addicted to Zombies, Run!

I’m still trying to figure out how to make a schedule. Stay tuned while I experiment with morning runs soon.

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 4 & 5

On Friday (day 4) I finally lifted. For weight training, I’m going back to the basics, which means the Starting Strength program. This is a quick, simple program that is as basic as you can get with a natural progression built in. Basically, you switch between two workouts with three lifts each and just do three sets of five for each lift. With a warm up, it never takes me more than 30min to complete.

This week I did:
3×5 squats @ 100#
3×5 strict press @ 60#
and 3×3 power cleans @ 70#

The picture above (aka my evidence) is mid-clean.

The squats felt pretty heavy, especially by the last set. The presses were very hard. But the cleans were easy – I probably should have started heavier. Technically, this is not my first workout of the program. I’ve been off and on trying to get started with this since February. If it were, my squats and press would be substantially lighter. Since the goal with this program is to add weight every single workout, you’re supposed to start out super light. And I did – my first squats were at 65# and my press were 45# (aka empty bar). So it’s okay that they’re heavier now.

I talked already about my goals for running, but I haven’t touched on my goals for lifting. I could just say I want to get strong, but what does that mean? Well, first I would like to get back to my old strength. For me that means being comfortable with 5×5 135# squats and being able to squat 165# x3. This also means getting back to 175# x5 and 200# x3 deadlifts. I was cleaning 115# x3 before I got pregnant, so that’s a good number to aim for.

After I hit those numbers and feel like I’m back to my old strength, I’ll reassess and set new goals. But I think it’s simpler to focus on just getting my strength back first.

And then this morning I went for another run. Almost 3 miles! What! It felt great and I got to watch some folks paddling around the nearby lake in funny, viking-esque boats while I ran.

Looks like I’ll be able to hit 5k much sooner than I thought. Not on the next run – I want to run with baby next, and so that’ll be a shorter run by necessity – but the one after that I will see if I can hit 3.1 miles.

My, what a difference sleep makes, huh?

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Diary of a Strong Mom: Days 2 & 3

It’s been a rough week. I initially ran a second time over a week ago (looks like Tuesday). I wanted to plot while I ran, so I only listened to music and used the Runkeeper app to track my run. Somehow I ran for almost 30min – huh! Didn’t feel like it. That’s always lovely.

And then I got sick. 😦 And Lady Jr got sick. So neither of us slept well and my lunch breaks became nap breaks instead. I lifted once with Dr Lady on Wednesday but didn’t get any further than that.

We did go for a walk on Saturday, which was lovely with all the leafs and green, but less lovely with all the mosquitoes. Seriously – wth Michigan?? It’s freezing for 6 months straight and as soon as it warms up past 50, there’s mosquitoes??? Ayyye.

Tips for keeping the nasty buggers off of baby would be appreciated. 😦

Last night Night before last I got 7-8 hours of sleep (interrupted, but I’ll take it). I took Lady Jr to baby school a little earlier than usual because she’d woken up earlier than usual and was left with almost an hour before work. Knowing that I might need to nap again on my lunch break (eff this cold), but feeling pretty good at that moment, I decided to go for a run.

screenshot_2017-05-18-08-51-31

This time, I ran with my trusted (and favorite) Zombies, Run! It was fun and exhilarating and of course after every Zombies, Run! episode I desperately want to listen to the next one, which is added motivation to run again. Seriously, if you have a smart phone and you want to get into running, you should check out that app. It’s so good.

And there we have it. I actually wrote this Thursday (yesterday), but never finished it up. Last night Lady Jr only woke up once (!!), so I have high hopes for a day 4 update soon.

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Things Tend to Work Out

Honestly, I came to hate the phrase “things will work out!” during our TTC years. When everything looks like failure and you can’t see a way forward except for giving up, it doesn’t provide much solace.

But it’s not untrue.

I don’t know if it’s the Way the Universe Is or a greater force or simply our very human way of making sense out of our otherwise senseless experiences, but things do tend to work out all right. Coincidences and happenstances accrue until you can look back at a certain point and seriously believe This Was Meant to Happen.

Dr Lady is gone all week so I’ve had a lot of time alone by myself to think and talk to Lady Jr. And I realized in talking to her the other night that we would not be here, with her, without those struggles, without those failures, without all those opportunities going up in smoke.

We would have had a different Lady Jr, a different donor, and a wholly different work situation. For one thing, if we’d had our BFP sooner, I would not be so calmly looking forward to getting to work at home in my last weeks, to knowing I’d have a job when I come back from maternity leave, to the sheer flexibility of this work. I would still be working with the county, in a job that I had learned to despise, a job where I’d have had to go on FMLA for my OB appointments (I’m not even kidding), where I would have gotten three months off but then would have had to come back to work full time right away. I would have felt stuck there, unwilling to leave the security of regular pay and benefits with a child on the way.

If I’d had our BFP sooner, I doubt I would have gathered the courage to quit that job and I would never have been available at the exact right time for this new job, where I have already learned so many new things and had such a great experience.

If we’d had our BFP sooner, we would have been in the much less envious situation of moving cross-country with two cats and a small child. We would have been flying around the country this last year, visiting newborns and relatives and weddings, with a crawling/walking toddler. Which is doable! But goodness am I glad that when Lady Jr is one and two and three, we will have the luxury of driving to see most of our relatives.

If Dr Lady’s opportunity to go to France hadn’t fallen through last autumn, there wouldn’t even be a Lady Jr. Honestly, there might never have been a Lady Jr. It was that very month that I had fully given up, and it wasn’t until after it fell through that I thought – well, I guess we might as well try IUI.

If Dr Lady’s opportunity to go to France hadn’t fallen through last spring, well – I’d still be pregnant, but I likely wouldn’t have a stay-at-home job and I wouldn’t have been able to attend my friend’s wedding.

If I hadn’t spent so long in TTC, I would not have the appreciation for all this that I do now. I wouldn’t have found out I had PCOS – which ended up explaining all the weird hormonal stuff in my past. I wouldn’t have found this community. And I wouldn’t have learned so very, very much about not just TTC and how our bodies work, but about babies and pregnancy and breastfeeding and what you need and what’s normal and what’s not. I wouldn’t have had the chance to read so many others’ experiences, in real time. To gain so much knowledge and understand that yes, it’s hard, but it’s also doable.

TTC was hard. Missing out on France was hard. Quitting my job and dealing with four months of unemployment and uncertainty was hard. Accepting that we needed medical intervention was hard.

But… I wouldn’t trade where I am now for anything. Lady Jr is a unique confluence of events and I couldn’t have chosen better ones.

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Desert Appreciation: Sunrise/Sunset

It wasn’t until college that I tried to catch that liminal point when night turned to day or vice versa. Partially because there were just so many trees in the way and sunrise was little more than a lightening of the sky. Our college, however, was situated facing west on a bayfront, the perfect spot to witness the end of a day. That spot became a regular refuge from the stress of papers and exams. We’d sit with our feet inches away from the water, heads back and skin slick with humidity, watching the light fade and the stars come out.

I watched sunsets in Seattle, too, but it wasn’t until we moved to the desert that I began watching sunrises. Since the thermometer starts shooting upwards as soon as the sun crests the horizon, I quickly learned to appreciate the early morning hours. I became an early-riser just to get outside once a day and enjoy the world without all the oppressive heat.

The desert more than rewards the the effort, with its mountains and open horizons. Almost every sunrise is a spectacular event, full of color and bravado. If I could, I’d watch every sunrise, even – especially – the ones at 5am.

 

Four: The Tranquility of Solar Transition

 

march-169

 

Sunrise from Tumamoc Hill

 

september-341

 

february-27

 

june-23

 

Ball of Sunset

 

Sunset #43: This time with ponies

 

july-62

 

Sunset at Gate's Pass

 

Star Gazing at Gate's Pass

 

Star Gazing at Gate's Pass

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