Training Tuesdays: being at peace with your version of fit

This weekend, I went on a 9.2 km return winter hike.  It’s the longest hike I’ve been on in what feels like forever (but in reality has been about 1.5 years). On the car ride back from our weekend getaway, my friends were talking about how I used to not consider anything below 20 km as a ‘real hike’.  Oh how the tides of turned. But it got me thinking about the importance of being at peace with how you define fitness for yourself right now, not how others define it, and not even necessarily how you might have defined it for yourself in the past.

You may have heard the expression comparison is the thief of joy.  When we compare ourselves to others or to our past self, we are essentially telling ourselves that wherever we are right now is not good enough.  We all have that friend or colleague who runs marathons. We all know that person who swears that Crossfit is the be all and end all.  We all probably even know that person who, like I used to, tries to hide their eye roll when you talk about the 2 km hike you went on this weekend because that’s obviously not a ‘real’ hike.

For every activity that you do, there will always be someone who does it better, faster, longer, or harder.  Even the marathoner has to contend with those pesky ultra marathoners (she says as someone whose whole blog was brought about by signing up for an ultra marathon…).  It’s far too easy to feel as though you’re not doing enough with your fitness.  It’s taken me a long time to get comfortable with sticking to small hikes, barely ever running, and even the small things like having to avoid burpees, mountain climbers and split squat jumps because they aggravate my injury. Will it be this way forever? Maybe not. Or maybe it will be.  It doesn’t really matter because right now this is my fitness reality.

Does that make being at peace with my current fitness easy? Not at all. I still struggle at times to be okay with my current fitness. I spot people at the gym doing all the things I used to do, see runners bounding past me like gazelles, read a trail description for a 40 km hike and at least half the time my initial reaction is “ugh, I used to be able to do that”. If I hear people talk about their half marathon or marathon training, I sometimes have to bite my tongue to keep myself from pointing out that I’ve run a damn marathon too.  This is despite being stronger than I’ve ever been, despite having built muscle, and despite (mostly) having kept my injury in check for the last 1.5 years.  I still have moments where I let myself feel down about not being ‘as fit’ as I used to be or as I perceive others to be.

Here’s what I’m learning, though: I don’t need to justify that I can barely run 5 km these days. I don’t need to justify that I choose not to hike 30+ km every Saturday and Sunday. I certainly don’t need to beat myself up because jumping split squats throw my SI out of whack.  I am the fit that’s right for my injury to heal. I am fit for being able to lead the type of life I want to lead. I am fit enough to allow myself donuts every Saturday (don’t underestimate the importance of this in my world) without fearing I will swell to unnatural sizes.

What’s my point to all this? Find a way to be at peace with whatever your version of fit is, whether it’s walking a half hour as often as you can, taking a spin class a few times a week, lifting weights in your basement, or even running an ultra marathon. If it’s what feels right to you and your body, and it allows you to live the type of life you want, let all those comparisons you’re making slide right off your back. Your version of fit is good enough.

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TWIR #96: ahhhh, life with a chronic injury

You go for one run and your body’s like “okay, I’ll teach you what you should already know: you have to ease into running, you dolt!!!!”  This perfectly sums up my week. After the joyous occasion of a legitimate (short) run, I spent the rest of the week cautiously working out in fear that my SI was not faring so well. Moral of the story: as ridiculous as it sounds to start with a 2 or 3 km run, it’s probably a wiser choice.

Still, the week wasn’t a total write off workout wise, so let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: declined both a donut and Dairy Queen
Observations:  I sometimes wonder who I am becoming when I say no to both a donut and Dairy Queen in the same day, my only day of the week on which sugar consumption is a free for all.  Don’t get me wrong, I still ate sugar. I’m just shocked at turning down two of my faves.  In other news, we fit in some good walking, some beer flights, and a homemade pizza night. In other words, Saturday got a thumbs up in my books.

Sunday
Activity: run!!!!!!
Relevant Stats: 5.7 km run/40 min.
Observations: This run is a true testament to how much I loathe driving to the gym on weekends. When the alternative is a painful (not injury painful, but painful nonetheless) and painfully slow run, you know you really needed to spice up your workout routine. I was proud of this run. I felt accomplished. I was slow as molasses and, perhaps for the first time in my life, I avoided feeling utterly defeated despite being slow as molasses.  That’s growth.  But I gotta say, between the run and additional walking (another 4 or 5 km), my legs were done like dinner.

Monday
Activity: light strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: Not wanting to push it too much after a running day, I kept things pretty light and pretty basic with Monday’s workout. I focused on controlled movements and reduced my weights.  My SI was feeling okay, so I was optimistic that all would be fine and perhaps running no longer had a vendetta against me.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations:  Ugh. Just when you think your injury has maybe taken a back seat at long last,  you wake up stiff and tender. I suppose this is why they call them chronic injuries. As my trainer pointed out, it’s also ludicrous that I tried to go from running interval laps at the track to a 5+ km run in one fell swoop. Evidently, 5 km is not a small start.  I’d like to say lesson learned, but it’s probably not.  At any rate, she took it easy on me in some respects but not in others. For instance, she added weight to prowler chest presses  as if she knew I’d made comments on my blog about the fact that they were getting easy.  The worst moment, however, was when she subjected me to the horror of watching my form on film. There is nothing like seeing yourself in video to make you feel as though you are making no progress with how good your body looks.

Wednesday
Activity: strength training (focus on arms)
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: I tried, I really did, but I had nothing in the tank for this one. It could’ve been that it was my second early morning workout in a row, and that I’ve gotten too used to my cushy mid-morning workouts.  Who knows? All I know is that I tried to focus on my arms to give my stiff SI a break, and they had nothing to give me. Push ups were a disaster. Presses were wretched. It all just felt off.

Thursday
Activity: strength training (focus on controlled stability movements)
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  Thursday’s workout could be summed up with the following words: still stiff, still no desire to work out. I cobbled together a decent workout, still being ultra cautious so as to protect my tender SI.  I have to tell you, though, that I was pretty frustrated by the fact that my SI wasn’t feeling 100% better even four days after a relatively short run. It’s one of the things that is most difficult to deal with chronic injuries. You just can’t count on your body to bounce back as quickly as you want it to, and you can’t always predict how it will respond to things.

Friday
Activity: strength + treadmill running intervals
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: See? You really can’t predict things. After four days of SI stiffness, today my SI felt 100% absolutely fine. To stave off boredom at the gym, I decided to go crazy and do some slower running intervals. I kept the pace way low for my sets, and stopped after 7 sets because I was starting to get some stiffness around my tailbone, but other than that it felt fine. However, I also know that tomorrow will be the true test.

Speaking of tomorrow, we are off to Leavenworth for an annual trip that involves giant pretzels, schnitzel, spaetzle, beer and Bavarian-themed village fun. Oh, and road donuts…which are nothing more than donuts eaten while on the road.  In other words, I’m outta here for a weekend of fun and indulgence, along with some snowy outdoor adventures for good measure. Happy weekend y’all.

 

TWIR #95: some days are better than others

Well if that post title isn’t stating the obvious, I don’t know what is. It seemed fitting for this week, though. This week my energy ebbed and flowed, my body tried to decide if it had a cold or not, and my head tried to decide whether it wanted to kick this bizarre headache or keep it around just for shits and giggles. As a result, my workouts were all over the place. Here goes nothing:

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: never ending rain trumps motivation
Observations:  It is cliche to complain about rain in Vancouver. It comes with the territory when you live here. But seriously, it has rained every single day but one this month. That is too much and sometimes it causes me to lose my will to leave the house.  I didn’t even get out for a walk and I am embarrassed to admit my step count for the day, and therefore I will not.

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats:  potential immune system meltdown trumps motivation
Observations: I spent most of the day certain I was fighting off a wicked cold. My head wasn’t right. I was exhausted. I felt like one of my nostrils was on the verge of clogging up. My throat was scratchy. On the upside, I successfully left the house–not to do anything active, mind you–but it was progress over Saturday, and you can’t take that away from me.

Monday
Activity: strength straining (attempt)
Relevant Stats: 20 min.
Observations:  Several weeks ago, I had this strange (read: annoying as all hell) headache. It wasn’t a migraine. It wasn’t a tension headache. It was this headache that got progressively worse throughout the day, and which made me feel as though my brain was bouncing around inside my skull with every step. In other words, it sucked. Well, it came back on Monday and haunted me during my brief attempt at a workout. Not only that, but my massive gym, the one that I love with all my heart, the one where I rarely have issues with equipment, it let me down. There were no benches. None. Just people hovering around benches, which I presume they were using at some point but certainly didn’t seem to be using as I walked by repeatedly giving them stink eye. I’m still not over it, as you can tell.  Between the headache and the why-are-there-no-god-damn-benches drama, I had a short and terrible workout.

Tuesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I must have been in a slightly better headspace because there were still no benches available (?!?)  but I managed to stick it out for a decent workout.  Guilt over Monday’s pathetic workout plus feeling like my belly had gotten decidedly more jiggly over the last week were to thank for this workout. I also felt like maybe, just maybe I’d dodged my looming cold, but the glee over that was overshadowed by my headache’s continued presence.

Wednesday
Activity: track workout
Relevant Stats: 35 min./8 lap intervals + strength intervals + run home
Observations:  I thought perhaps my cold was back on Wednesday, but despite this I opted for a track workout. In my experience, running when you’re not sure if you have a cold is either the best or worst idea ever. It’s the best idea if it turns out not to be a real cold, and the worst idea if it turns out to actually be a cold. Only time would tell. The workout was rough as I haven’t run on the track in a while–damn you treadmills for making running feel easy–but I persevered. Huzzah!

Thursday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations:  When I woke up I was certain my cold was turning into the dreaded flu. I felt tired and sapped of energy.  My trainer took considerable pity on me. I know this because she let me do split lunges without weights, and that minor concession felt as good to me as that time my parents surprised us at Christmas by telling us we were going to Disneyland.  Not to create the impression my trainer is too nice, she also integrated a new hated activity: backward plank walks into a low squat. I can’t explain it any better than that, but what you really need to know is that it sucked and left my quads burning. By mid-day, I was convinced that my cold was not in fact a cold, but then by 9 o’clock at night I knew I was wrong. Seriously, I feel like this on-again-off-again cold was in the midst of an existential crisis. It needed to decide if it would stay or go.

Friday
Activity: light strength training
Relevant Stats: 35 min.
Observations: Well, there is no doubt now that the cold has made up its mind: it’s here. I had to make the tough call: to work out or not to work out? I’m always the most conflicted when I don’t feel like a total bag of crap. When I feel awful it’s easy to turn down a workout, but when I’m just sort of tired and have a few symptoms I feel like I’m really just being lazy. In the end,  I went with a somewhat shorter, definitely lighter workout and now feel as though if I hermit inside to hide from the rain and my cold tomorrow, somehow it is ever so slightly more acceptable.

I am ready for a weekend of being lazy, blasting this cold out of my system with epic amounts of oil of oregano and ungodly dosages of vitamin C (laugh if you want, I swear it works), and hopefully still finding my way to a donut even though sugar is super unhelpful for the old immune system. Sigh. Hope your weekends involve less phlegm and congestion than mine may. Happy weekend y’all…also, sorry for kicking off your weekend by talking about phlegm.

TWIR #94: Shaking it Up

Any time I travel, I find I end up shaking up my workout routine a bit.  Most of the time, this means reducing workout duration or missing a day here or there. This week, however, it just meant the return of an old favourite and moving things around within the week. The end result was a workout week that felt a little less stale. Hurrah! Let’s see what I got up to.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: operation-surprise-my-dad-for-his-70th-birthday successfully completed!
Observations: After a quick early morning flight, we surprised the heck out of my dad and whisked the fam out to Banff for the day.  There is nothing like fresh, mountain air to reinvigorate the spirit.  Though we didn’t get a real workout in, there was lots of walking and photo snapping, and my soul was happy so I was 100% okay with no real exercise.  I also shook up my cheat day and stayed carb and sugar free thanks to those new Starbucks egg bites (sidenote: still not sure how I feel about them and they’re odd, souffle-like texture…) and finding a lunch spot that featured many healthy options.  Somehow, I even resisted the urge to down my half pound of fudge the second I had it in my possession. Growth.

Sunday
Activity: at home strength workout
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations:  We bought my dad a Sonos speaker system for his birthday and were having some issues connecting it to an older stereo system. I could explain the whole set up but who really cares? Suffice it to say I have no patience for nor experience with technological set up so I avoided the whole damn set up process by escaping to the basement for an at-home workout. We capped off the day with a lovely stroll along the Bow river, my mom’s famous home-made caesar salad and turkey pot pie, a half pound of fudge, and a belly ache. Worth it.

Monday
Activity: mini winter hike!!!!!
Relevant Stats: 5.2 km return, 295 m elevation gain
Observations: I have a smaller-than expected ice carving festival to thank for this hiking adventure. Our plan had been to check out the ice carvings in Lake Louise and then grab overpriced specialty coffees at the Chateau Lake Louise. When it became clear that the ice carvings would occupy all of 15 minutes of our time, we needed a plan B. We opted for a quick mini-hike through safe snow terrain and headed up to Mirror Lake. Though a quick and easy trail, I was left wondering why this was my first winter hike of the year.  Plus, man do I miss that nice, fluffy, dry Alberta snow.

Tuesday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: travel day + return to the never-ending rain
Observations: As quick as we arrived, we headed back to Vancouver. And to the rain. Which never seems to end. Seriously, it has rained every day in January except for one. I’ll point out the obvious: that’s too much rain. At any rate, I’d contemplated a track workout that afternoon but, upon being greeted by torrential downpours, thought better of it and spent my afternoon meal planning, grocery shopping and doing kitchen chores instead.  Related: four-day weekends are the absolute best. For once I didn’t feel at all stressed about getting all the chores done while still fitting in fun. New goal: find a way to have four-day weekends all the time.

Wednesday
Activity: running intervals + strength
Relevant Stats: 5 min. warmup + 8 2 min. running intervals + strength
Observations: When your brand new umbrella just snaps shut unexpectedly in the pouring rain and after the world’s most painful three hours at work following a wonderfully extra long weekend that made you not want to go back to work, it can sometimes make you want to angry run.   This was one of those times. I needed to run. I craved the running. I ran at speeds I could never sustain these days, but that felt necessary to my sanity. I ran farther than I’ve run in months, and faster. And it felt freaking fantastic.

Thursday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: As it turns out, my anger fueled running made my SI stiff and made my hip positioning regress, so not only did I have to do prowler chest presses, but I had to do them with a new form that made them twice as hard.  Ugh. For the most part, my trainer spared me any torturous new activities, but I have to say that my arms and shoulders wanted nothing to do with any form of exercise so even the basics felt difficult.

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I seriously contemplated bailing on my workout today, but I’m glad that I didn’t because a) it stopped raining and the sun actually came out while I was walking to the gym (!!!) and b) it turned out okay. I focused on nice, controlled exercises today to give my stiff body a break from the angry running earlier this week and the jumping in yesterday’s training session.  Now that it’s done, I feel accomplished. Nothing more should be required of me today, right? Right.

With that, the weekend is here. Even though I had a three day work week, I’m still saying a big glory hallelujah to the weekend’s arrival. Time to bring on the donuts and relaxation and chill time with friends. I may also day dream just a little bit about blue sky days and sparkling snow in the Rockies because, even though I could frolic in the snow here, I can assure you that it would not be under blue skies. Happy weekend y’all. Hope you find some sunshine, real or metaphorical, wherever you are.

TWIR #93: TGILW

Okay, I know, that post title has way too many acronyms. I’m just over the moon that a) it’s Friday and b) it’s an extra long weekend for me.  Hence the TGILW (thank goodness it’s a long weekend). Certainly it doesn’t have the same ring to it as TGIF but an extra long weekend is worth a clunky acronym isn’t it? Let’s check out what I got up to this week.

Saturday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: sushi and chocolate and donuts, oh my!
Observations: I am not at all apologetic about the donut that I ate for breakfast nor the melt-in-your-mouth saba aburi oshi at Minami (seriously, if you live in Vancouver, go there immediately. Put aside the fact that you ‘don’t like mackarel’ and put this in your mouth.).  However, I am apologetic for the rapid consumption of chocolate because I ate it all before I realized I really didn’t even feel like chocolate. The freedom of Saturday’s eating sometimes just gets to me, you know?

Sunday
Activity: unplanned rest day
Relevant Stats: beach walk + epic kitchen chores
Observations: I have no excuses for this rest day. It wasn’t even raining outside. In fact, it was a beautiful sunny day.  I just didn’t want to.  Instead, we opted to drive out to White Rock for a long walk along the beach because it was so nice out. Well, little did we know we would be driving straight into the epic wall of fog. We left brilliant sunshine in the city to walk in grey fog. Still, it was lovely and refreshing. I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen, deeply engrossed in a true labour of love (at least without a food processor): homemade bolognese. Seriously, there’s way too much fine chopping involved to do this without my food processor. I can’t wait to have my things out of storage.

Monday
Activity: running intervals + strength training
Relevant Stats: 45 min.
Observations: I had to use the treadmill for my running intervals but this was still a satisfying workout.  In fact, it was actually more satisfying in some ways because running on the treadmill always feels easier than running outdoors. I cranked that speed up (for me, at least) and felt like I was flying rather than plodding along gasping for air like I do at the track. Regardless, the workout was solid and I was a sweaty beast by the end.

Tuesday
Activity: personal training session
Relevant Stats: 60 min.
Observations: I’m afraid to tell my trainer that the prowler chest presses are getting easy, at least at the weights we’ve been working with.  Let’s just keep that our little secret, shall we? This was also the first training session during which she introduced nothing new for me to hate with a vengeance. I wondered if she was feeling guilty about forgetting our session a couple weeks back. No matter the reason, I’ll take it!

Wednesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: There is no delicate way to put this: this workout was painful from start to finish. I could tell from my first set of single leg deadlifts that I was not going to have a good workout. My legs were tired. My arms were even more tired. I decreased my weight on all sorts of exercises, dropped down to three sets of most, and generally am amazed that I survived for a full 40 minutes. That was pure dedication…and a whole lotta habit.

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: After Wednesday’s debacle, I was determined to fit in a good workout despite it being yet another early(ish) morning workout (any more than one in a week is not my jam).  Although I was solidly on the early morning workout train before Christmas, I’ve definitely returned to the camp of mid-morning workout since the start of the new year. I’m not going to lie. This workout was a bit rough at the start. My muscles just kept asking me why I was doing this to them.

Friday
Activity: running intervals + strength
Relevant Stats: 30 min.
Observations:  More treadmill running intervals! I was going to go to the park this morning instead, but then freaked out about being there in the dark with headphones in because, obviously, I would be murdered despite it being a relatively safe neighborhood. As I’ve mentioned before, watching crime shows has not been good for me.  At any rate, I had a great interval workout on the go before I realized I’d forgotten my breakfast at home and thus had to cut my workout short to pay an ungodly amount of money for a keto friendly option between my gym and my office.  My mother used to tell me I’d forget my own head if it weren’t screwed on. She is correct.

Alas, now the weekend is here and it’s a gloriously long one for me. If you’re wondering when I’ll stop bragging about that to all you two-day weekenders, the answer is never. Happy weekend to all and to all a good night.

For me at least. Sorry…not sorry.

Training Tuesdays: Look what I can do!

Does anyone out there actually remember that sketch from Mad TV?  Just me? Okay then, moving on…

I was thinking of doing a lovely little retrospective of my fitness journey in 2017 but as I was reading through all my old TWIRs all I could think was “Damn this is depressing.” I had forgotten the sheer number of times my injury reared its ugly head last year. So instead of being a total bummer only nine days into the new year, instead I decided to share with you the brief but important (to me at least) list of things I can do at the beginning of 2018 that I couldn’t do at the beginning of 2017:

1. Four sets of 8 tricep push ups without needing a break or losing form. At the beginning of last year it was a struggle to do sets of three. That’s almost triple the push ups, friends. (sidenote: I still loathe push-ups)

2. 110 lb dead lifts. Okay, at some point earlier in 2017 I may have been able to do this, but then I got injured (again and again) and it took me right up until the end of the year to get back to that weight.

3. Negative pull ups: At the beginning of 2017 I couldn’t even do a negative pull up. At all. But now I can do four sets of 3 negative pull ups. I mean, I can barely move my arms the next day, but I can do it!

4. 50 lb + prowler weight chest press pushes without feeling like my arms will fall off the next day. Seriously, this is a major win. The first few times I did these it hurt to do basic things like type and, you know, move my arms at all.  I still hate them, but I no longer fear the DOMS aftermath.

5.  I can feel when my body is moving out of correct form. That isn’t to say that I always stop myself from going ahead with a squat or deadlift even when I’ve moved out of form–if I had mastered that, I wouldn’t have reinjured myself so many times this year–but at least I can tell.  It’s a stark contrast to points during last year when my trainer would tell me she’d see my shoulder dip forward during moves that hurt and I’d just stare at her like she had two heads.  Understanding your body is a really big deal for the chronically injured.

6. Most, most, most importantly, I’m bouncing back from injuries faster than before. For at least half of last year, it would take weeks for me to get back to normal after a tweak or twinge to my injury. I credit not trying to push my running agenda for this one, but finally I am at a point where, for the most part, I can bounce back from a setback with my SI or sciatic in days not weeks. This makes a huge difference to my state of mind.

So here’s to 2018, the year of strength. My sole focus in the fitness realm is continuing to build up my base strength as a means of managing my injury and, for the first time ever, I’m excited to see how much I can move the needle on strength in the coming year. Trust me when I say that if you’d told me I’d be saying that last year, I would’ve told you that you were crazy.

TWIR #91: Kicking off the New Year

It’s 2018! It’s time to set some insane fitness resolutions, right? Wrong. I don’t do resolutions. I barely even set goals for myself…aside from that one time I decided I was going to try to run an ultra marathon…but let’s just not talk about that.  I don’t struggle with keeping regularly active after so many years of making it a priority so I’m not sure what a fitness-related goal would even look like at this point.  But I do have a strong intention for 2018. Aside from the fact that ‘intention’ seems like the new buzzword for goal, I prefer it because it’s a little more nebulous, and I like the subtle vagueness of such things. At any rate, my health intention for the year is to do better at keeping my injury in check. I made progress last year, particularly in the last few months, but I recognize that I still need to do a better job of listening to my body and responding appropriately to early warning signs.  That’s it, though. It’s simple and small, but very, very important to me. With that out of the way, let’s see what this week in workouts looked like:

Saturday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I went to my second-least-favourite gym location and am incredibly proud of myself for lasting 40 minutes there. Seriously, it is almost always next to impossible to get a bench let alone the weights I want, but somehow I managed to score everything I needed. It was a Steve Nash Fitness World miracle!

Sunday
Activity: track workout! (i.e. running intervals with plyometrics) + walking
Relevant Stats: 20 or 25 minutes at the track + 13 km walking
Observations: Normally, my track workouts are my favourite of the week. I love being outdoors and the illusion that I’m able to run again. This workout, however, was incredibly rough right from the get go. I blame the increased drinking and sugar consumption for the week prior. I had zero energy. I survived five laps with some lame intervals and called it a day. Thankfully we spent a ton of time walking afterwards, so it didn’t feel like a bad activity day to round out 2017.

Monday
Activity: planned rest day
Relevant Stats: major sitting. major.
Observations: New year’s day is always slightly melancholy for me. It signals the end of the holiday season, and was also my last day off work after nearly two weeks of blissful vacation. I was a sad panda for most of the day and, as a result, did little more than eat my feelings in sugar and carbs and lay around like a slug. By end of day, I was developing a seriously unpleasant headache and I was turning into a major crankypants.

Tuesday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: I awoke with the best of intentions for a great day but, thanks to my holiday indulgences, by 10 a.m. I felt exhausted, lacking in energy, and generally like garbage. During my workout, I briefly felt like things might be on the upswing. I rocked some excellent step ups and lower body exercises, but then the moment I got back to the office my head began to pound and got progressively worse throughout the afternoon. Ugh. Damn you, sugar!

Wednesday
Activity: attempted strength training
Relevant Stats: 20 min.
Observations: I awoke feeling slightly better, but by 10 am my raging headache from hell was back. Every time I stood up, walked, or bent over it felt like my brain was just rattling around in my skull.  I was supposed to see my trainer at noon, and can honestly say I was thrilled when she didn’t show up (she’s super reliable, but this was a rescheduled session that just didn’t end up in her calendar). I thought a workout on my own might make me feel better, but 10 minutes into the workout, I knew that I was wrong. Everything made my head heart. Everything. I called it a day after a mere 20 minutes and shortly thereafter called it a day from work. When an extra afternoon nap and Advil failed to make my head feel better, I started doing some serious research on my headache…

Thursday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: …after three days of unpleasant headaches, I was ready to get to the bottom of it. No longer was I convinced that it had anything to do with going off sugar. It felt nothing like my typical sugar withdrawal headaches, plus I knew I hadn’t eaten enough sugar over the last 10 days to warrant a  three-day withdrawal headache. My internet research slowly convinced me that perhaps I was having an adverse reaction to way too much vitamin B12. It’s not something that happens to everyone, but it can cause some to suffer bad headaches. As my best hypothesis to date, I decided to back off my supplements to see if it would help. While I still had a headache, I was able to survive a 40 minute workout, including some seriously tough prowler pushes, and I made it through the workday. Best of all, my headache did not get worse in the evening like it had been. Promising!

Friday
Activity: strength training
Relevant Stats: 40 min.
Observations: My headache continued to be a subtle companion, but not in any way that interfered with my exercise at least. I managed a solid strength workout that was extra enjoyable because I took a break from both push ups and the prowler. I know that means I’ll have double down on them next week, but right now next week seems blissfully far away.

For a short week at work, I can definitely say that this week felt long as hell. Show of hands, who’s with me on that one? At any rate, I’m super pumped that it’s the weekend. I’m tempted to dig deep into the wine, but also worried that it will cause my head to explode.  Time (i.e. the next two hours) will tell whether threat or reward wins out on that one. Happy weekend y’all.