Random Personal Update

Another Sugary Experience

I have to expand on a portion of my post on StrongGirlsWin.com from yesterday: the 3-Hour Glucose Tolerance Test. So, the test is screening for Gestational Diabetes and you only have to take this version if you fail the 1-Hour Tolerance Test (which I did).

There are, of course, strict rules to follow to keep the test valid:

  1. Eat a diet containing at least 150g of carbohydrates per day for 3 days prior to testing.
  2. Fast for 8-hours before consuming glucose solution.
  3. Drink solution containing 100g of glucose within 5-minutes. Think throwing back about 4 shots in 5-minutes… maybe not the best idea.

Then you sit for 3-hours that are interspersed with blood drawing every hour.

Doesn’t sound too bad does it?

Well, for me, this is about as bad as it gets in terms of medical testing. I have strong dislike for fasting, having my blood drawn, being forced to drink huge amounts of sugar, and sitting still for long periods of time. I’m not trying to exaggerate or be funny, I really don’t like any of those things.

In fact, I almost didn’t get the test done at all. After all, I’ve “been there, done that” with my first pregnancy. So, why should I put myself through this hellish experience again?

Aside from simply “getting over myself” and acting like an adult, I pulled up some research to educate myself on the risk factors associated with babies who are born to women with gestational diabetes and decided I did, in fact, need to get over myself.

A couple of the most notable risk factors for the child that I didn’t know include: increased likelihood of becoming diabetic at some point in their future life and falling into a coma if the doctors don’t know they need to monitor the newborn’s blood sugar levels. Those were the two points that resonated with me.

Well, anyway, this got me thinking about how absurd it is to consume so much sugar in one sitting, much less in one single day. But, that’s exactly what people do ALL the time!

Here are a number of popular beverages you or a loved one probably consumes regularly. All have around 100g of sugar:

You may think I'm being a bit dramatic about this whole thing. It's just a standard test, after all. But diabetes has a history in my family and I recognize my body's own regulation of its blood sugar levels as a natural challenge - pregnant or not. I've actively been trying to provide myself the best quality foods for about 10 years now and the idea of failing any sort of glucose test is frightening for me!

The good news is I passed my second test and the doctor assured me failing the first version is NOT a sign of things to come... not sure if I totally believe her. I think I'll just keep my head down, focused on continuing to consume high-quality whole foods and will have to enjoy Shamrock Shake commercials instead of indulging in the real thing:

Complete and Utter Randomness

Just a few random thoughts that have been running around my mind and some training videos for everyone out there. Random Thoughts:

  • I’ve been struggling as of late when it comes to high school weight training either as a class or after school for sports.  It seems to be very few and far between that you have sport coaches/weight training teachers who know what they’re doing in the weight room (I’m not saying all of them).  Just talking to athletes about what they do in there blows my mind such as maxing every three weeks with terrible form, crumpling under the barbell during a squat or rounding their back and hitching a deadlift just to get the weight up.  Most of these kids can’t do a bodyweight squat correctly, why are they maxing with a barbell on their back?  I’m not trying to make people angry but it just seems ignorant when there is so much good/free information everywhere that would help these coaches and their athletes immensely.  I attribute this to one of two things, they are to prideful to admit they don’t know what they are doing or they just don’t care to find out that what they are doing is wrong and harmful.  Either way it’s unacceptable.
  • The previous thought kind of led into the idea of being average. I’ve heard people for as long as I can remember talk about how they are better than “average” or that they don’t want to be just “average”.  I always thought that thinking like that was arrogant, or that they felt they were superior.  I used to be of the mindset that in order to be above average you had to be something like an astronaut, sports superstar, movie star, bill gates, you know things along those lines.  I’m assuming I thought that way because from the time I was in elementary school to the end of high school that’s what I felt I was, just average.  Why? Because I was led to believe that’s what I was by OTHER people. It wasn’t until college when I started taking my physical education and exercise science classes that I started to realize that I wasn’t “average” and that I never want to be “average”.  I started becoming more confident in my intelligence and through weight training I became more physically confident, and most importantly I stopped listening to negative people.  This all lead to me understanding that it’s OK to NOT want to be average.  Nobody should want that.  Whatever it is that you are currently doing you shouldn’t be satisfied with being average at it.  Whether you are a student, strength coach, teacher, sport coach, attorney, grounds keeper, etc. you should STRIVE to be better so you can look back when it’s all said and done and be able to say you left your mark.  Anyways the reason why this all got sparked was because I’ve been hoping this is the message that I am instilling in the athletes I work with.  There is enough negativity in the world and I REFUSE to be a negative influence when it comes to working with these kids.
  • My last thought as of late is that I want to buy a truck. Really not for any other reason than to buy a Prowler to leave in the bed of the truck just so I can always have it on hand in case the mood strikes to push it.  Weird right?

Videos:

And without further delay, here are some videos to take your mind off the incoherent rant you just read….

Here are two of our female high school volleyball athletes.  I think they are just realizing that they are really strong.  SAPT is really proud of all their progress…

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The next video is of one of my training partners and GMU’s S&C graduate assistant John Delgado.  He’s currently doing Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and he decided to get real squirrely with this 315 deadlift for what I believe is 13 reps…

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The last video is of me getting in some work for my upcoming powerlifting competition.  My training is going really well and my squats and pulls feel really fast and smooth (bench is still feeling a bit weird and wild).  I’m about 7 weeks out from the Richmond Open and I am getting all sorts of jacked up about it.

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Mid-Point Goals

I want to give a few personal updates on my training these days. I am just over the half-way point with this pregnancy (21 weeks) and last week we found out we're having a boy (yay!). Since I've already been through this process once before I know that the next 20 or so weeks can become quite physically trying. So, I've reassessed my progress to this point and have created some new goals.

First 20-weeks goals:

  1. Build a solid aerobic base ahead of time - ACCOMPLISHED. With Arabella I had NO IDEA how important aerobic exercise would be for my day-to-day tasks. I ended up having to play "catch-up." You'd think this would happen late in the pregnancy when you've gained a bunch of weight... surprise! It doesn't! It happens very quickly as the result of increased blood volume. The aerobic training helps your body adapt more quickly. For Baby #2 I began a conditioning program (geared towards 800m runners) about 1 month before we started trying to "get pregnant" - it has worked wonders. Weight gain has been slower and I've felt much better.
  2. Address my body's areas of breakdown ahead of time - ACCOMPLISHED. I've learned that, while pregnant, I need to take special care of my lower back via simple strength movements like the bird-dog, address calf weakness and overall foot health, and can train with more vigor than I did with Arabella (again, I realized this about half-way through with her). The result is that while my back flares up from time-to-time, it is under control and overall I feel much more like myself in terms of strength and health. Regarding foot health, I won't know if I've been successful until after the baby is born.

Second 20-week Goals:

  1. Continue to prioritize low- to moderate-level conditioning but without laying the foundation for wicked plantar fasciitis. I'm shifting towards Prowler sled pushes 2x/week, stepper or bike or smililar low impact activity 2x/week, and 1 or 2x/week of actual running. Believe it or not, with Arabella I ran 3-4x/week (with low impact on off days) up until I was 38 weeks pregnant. For my Prowler pushes I will do a "trip" for every week pregnant I am - today I did 21. Took about 30 min.
  2. Keep up with lower leg pre-hab to keep my feet and calves strong enough to safely continue to propel my heavy(er) body when I'm running.
  3. Maintain pullups and chinups in my training regime. Sadly, these will not be body weight. BUT, on the upside, they can be called "Banded + 25lbs Pullups" by the due date - I'm sure somewhere in there things even out. With Arabella the stretch placed on my torso from the hang position was too uncomfortable/borderline painful to keep in (even banded). So, I'm hoping to keep them in throughout, if possible. Same approach as the Prowler: 1 rep for every week pregnant.
  4. Lastly - and, okay, I recognize this borders on the ridiculous - but, if everything goes smoothly and all the variables line up in the best possible way. Then my goal is to beat my time in "active" labor. Arabella took 55 minutes. I'm after a PR with this little guy.

One final note is that I'm not entirely a crazy person, I do certainly understand the limits of my body and the safety of the baby comes first. So, as with #1, I know when to dial things down if my body isn't feeling quite right. And, the above is by NO MEANS my recommendation to pregnant women looking to stay active throughout their pregnancies. Rather, this is the by-product of a body (mine) which has been trained consistently at a very high level for about a decade.

I categorized this post under "Awesome" and "Chest Thumping" because, well, staying active throughout a pregnancy is really, really tough. So, anyone who manages that feat should feel it is both awesome and a serious point of pride!