Friday, July 19, 2013

Fitness Friday: A Quieter Week

Happy Friday!

Does anyone else need a Friday? I know I do! It has been an especially busy work week for me, and I've been preparing for some house guests this weekend. Each day I'm thinking "I need to run this errand before work, make sure I finish these work projects today, go home and [work on the blog/run a load of laundry/run dishwasher/clean floors, etc]". Pretty much every day has been like this. Fortunately, I've been able to delegate some tasks to my wonderful Beebs, but still not a lot of downtime for me.

I just want to sit on my front porch with an iced coffee and an issue of Real Simple!


When I first started working out, I'd freak out over a missed workout (or a few workouts). I'd be convinced I'd lose progress, gain weight, etc. Over time, however, I've taken a more balanced approach. I understand the importance of being consistent in keeping up with my workouts over the long term so that I can reach my goals. However, I no longer freak out if I have to miss a workout or two. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I know that I'll get back on my schedule when everything slows down.

This was one of those weeks. Luckily, it was a "down week" in RunKNOX, so it was perfect timing. I kept up with most of my workouts, but skipped one or two so that I could catch up on everything I needed to do. We'll call it a mental health break. No need to stress myself out even more by trying to cram all my workouts in. I know that next week I'll be right back at it!

And on that note, time to REALLY focus on my 30 minute 5K goal!

So what I'm trying to do here is set a realistic expectation for you. This just wasn't one of those exciting weeks where I tried something new, achieved a goal, or did some awesome thing. So if you're looking for some monumental story to motivate you to change your life and start running, this probably isn't the best article for you. Here is a good one, though.

What you will find today, however, is me staying with my running schedule the best I could, and recognizing that it's okay to take a temporary lighter approach to working out in light of life being very busy. You gotta have balance sometimes.

So here's how it went:

Friday: A much needed day off following my Thursday Track event

Saturday: My first 6 mi run in months!

Since running my first half-marathon in April, I've switched to focusing on getting faster at shorter distances. In my RunKNOX speed program, I've run 3-5 mi, repeats of anywhere from 100-800m at the track, and hill repeats. This Saturday was the first time in awhile that I've run more than 6 mi.

Unfortunately for the run, my friend's 30th birthday party was the night before. It didn't run too late, but I felt a little dehydrated and just "meh" Saturday morning. No excuses, though!

Our workout was to run a total of 6 mi. About 4 mi into the workout, however, we were to run 20 minutes of 1 minute (almost) sprinting/ 1 minute really slow jog (as part of the 6 mi). The first 3 mi of the jog felt like they were never going to end. I felt so tired and my legs just didn't enjoy moving. I had to drag myself! I found myself behind a couple of girls that I usually keep up with (even pass sometimes). I was dreading the sprint intervals and was not sure I was going to make it.

Finally, we got to about 4 mi in, and it was time to start the sprinting intervals. Well, here we go. My goal was to not throw up. I set my stopwatch to start the first sprint, and went for it. Surprisingly, it felt GREAT to do the sprint!

I didn't see that one coming.

Don't ask me how, but for some reason, I felt instantly better during the sprinting. Instead of dragging, I felt fluid and energetic. I breathed better. It was awesome! I never thought I'd say that about sprinting. I think I would have wanted to collapse if I'd just jogged the entire 6 mi. Once my 20 minutes of sprints were over, I jogged the last mile or so and was ready to start my day feeling fresh and new!

Sunday: Day off

Monday: Gym

Monday, I went to my usual evening Body Pump class. Because I left work late, I only had a few minutes to run before the class, so I ran a mile on the indoor track. In 9:11. Even better than my track race! Of course I'm sure the A/C helped!


Tuesday: Hottest RunKNOX practice yet!

Tuesday was a less busy day, and I of course went to RunKNOX.

90 degrees. Sun. Humid. No breeze. 

I was REALLY happy that it was down week in RunKNOX. We only jogged a quick 1.5 mi warm-up, did a few sprints up a hill (probably took less than 15 minutes), and a quick 1.5 mi cool down jog. Again, I kind of liked the sprints. Instead of a slow run where I could think about how hot and miserable I was, I was working too hard to think. Nonetheless, I was exhausted by the end of the workout and walked most of the cool down. It was just too hot.

Wednesday: 2 mi run + sprints

I'll be honest, my Wednesday workouts are usually rough. I think it's because I'm still tired and dehydrated from my Tuesday RunKNOX workouts. This week was no exception. I knew my workday would be busy, so I ran in the morning. I was supposed to run 3 mi, but I only had time for 2.

2 is better than 0, right? I mean, I'd rather have 2 cookies than 0. So 2 miles must be better than 0 miles.

You know in the summertime when it's really hot during the day, but you think, if I go outside at 6 AM it's going to feel cool and great? I opened the front door expecting the air to feel cool and crisp the only time that day.

No. Not that morning. It was still humid, the sun was out, and it didn't feel cool outside at all.

So...feeling tired from the night before, and the weather being hot, it was rough going. I ran 2 miles in about 24 minutes (slower than my usual pace). Whatever, at least I did it. Then we were prescribed to run a few sprints after our run that morning. I figured that since I couldn't do my last mile, I'd at least fit 4 sprints in. I found a flat road, and sprinted up and down a few times. I looked at my watch, and my "sprinting pace" was a 6:30 pace.

Some people run that pace (or faster) for miles. Maybe one day...

Despite feeling rough during the run, I was glad that I completed it and had it out of the way as I started my day.

Thursday: Day off

I had to get to work early, left late, and came home to get my house ready for guests, workout. I did make time to cuddle with Cali for 15 minutes in the morning. My husband usually leaves before me in the morning. As he leaves, he opens the bedroom door so that cats can wake me up. Cali is my furry alarm clock who enjoys waking me up by cuddling with me. 

Best way to wake up if you ask me.

Next week, I look forward to getting more workouts in and getting back on track towards my 30 minute 5K (30x30) goal. I'm also doing another track race in the same series of races, Thursdays at the Track, I tried last week. I'm not sure what distance I'll run, but I'm sure it will be challenging!

How do you handle busier weeks where you need to prioritize life over your workouts? How do you get back on track?


See what others around the web are doing with two great Fitness Friday communities:

I was not compensated by RunKNOX, the Knoxville Track Club, or Thursday Nights at the Track for this post, nor is any organization affiliated with this blog. I am simply sharing my honest opinions and experiences. The views expressed in this article are solely my own. Also, I'm not a health or fitness professional of any kind. See my Terms and Conditions page.

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  1. We currently have the same goal: 5K in 30 minutes!

    Two weeks ago, during interval, I was 22 seconds "too slow".

    My Friday post, as you know, was about my (re)sources of motivation. I wrote that post to motivate myself! This week I literally dragged myself to each work-out/run on my training schedule.

    I earnestly thought after running three marathons, I would no longer struggle with motivating myself to run.

    But I still have many of those unmotivated days! I've come to terms that I will be confronted with them, and the post I made was one of the ways I make myself strong.

    Also having met other runners, who've run ultra-marathons, and learning from them that they too have faced days of looking for outside source to motivate themselves, have helped me pick my lumpy self up, drag my arms to put my running gear, and just go!Just run.

    Good luck on the 5K in 30 mins goal! :) BTW this post gave me the extra motivation I need for my Sunday's long distance (25 kilometers) run. You had a busy week but still you plowed on. Good on you!

    1. Awesome! So cool to meet someone with the same goal! I'm currently at 32 min, but am working hard to shave down those two minutes!

      You know, no matter how far you come, there are just some tough days. Busy days, stressful days, lazy days, etc. They still hit me sometimes even though I've come so far. Sometimes if I can just get dressed in running clothes and put my shoes on, that's all I need to get started. Other days I feel like I'm dragging in my workout.

      I really appreciated your strategies for motivating yourself on those days. Sometimes I need outside motivation (often from running friends and bloggers) to keep going!

      Glad to hear this post offered some motivation! Good luck on your goal, too! We'll get there!

  2. When I have busier weeks, I just force myself to get up earlier to work out. So, that way, the workout isn't taking up any day time because I'm running at 5:30 or whatever. It's easier during the summer when it gets light out so early. But that said, taking days off is okay. I don't stress about missing a run day. Last week I didn't run for 5 days! Sometimes you just need it.

    1. Yes! I've been trying to get up earlier (and did Wednesday) to work out. I'm not a morning person, so it's tough, but I know I need to buckle down and make myself do it!

  3. First, great week! I've taken days/weeks off at a time because my body/soul/mind/sass needed it. Do what's good for YOU, ya know?

    Second, link up with me, girlfriend for my weekly training link-up. It goes live on Mondays and is there RIGHT NOW.