Sunday, June 25, 2017

Work Hard, Play Hard

Summertime and the living's easy. Right?

This year, not so much. Instead of feeling relaxed, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed this summer as we try to pack in as much fun as we can in the limited free time on the calendar. Taking that leave of absence earlier this year left me with little vacation time. I've got a few long weekends and I plan to make the most of them.

The theme for this summer seems to be: work hard, play hard. 



This week, there were some challenging situations at work, coupled with an increase in RA symptoms and by Wednesday night, I was toast. I had planned a long weekend off with a drive up to Door County. I dove into my 4 day weekend with a vengeance, hoping to shed some of the negativity I was feeling from the first half of the week.

First up, a CrossFit workout with Becky. I was on fire! She had me push the sled and I ran it back and forth, even as she piled on more plates. She had me do some resistance band work as well has bench lunges with increasing weights. It was hot, it was humid, and I sweated out my stress.


After that, I did a 4 mile run, using the 4:1 run/walk intervals. The heat and humidity were brutal by that time. I came close to vomiting at the end of the run, but I finished. Who knew 4 miles could be so taxing? What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? Or at the very least, gives you very sore muscles!


Now that the work was done, it was time to play. My son, his girlfriend, and I hit the road and headed to northern Wisconsin. It rained pretty much the entire 5 hour drive. At one point it was pouring so hard, we couldn't see the road. Just like my workout, we pushed on. By the time we arrived at my parents' place, the rain had stopped. A glass of wine in my hand, fried chicken on my plate, and a trip to the ice cream parlor set things right. 

Friday morning, Cocoa woke me up extra early. I tried to get her to go back to sleep but she wasn't having it, so I took her outside to admire the sunrise. I marveled at how quiet it was. There were a few white pelicans on the bay and some birds were singing. The water was calm. The peace and solitude made me think about how life is always turned up to 11. Think about it. You can't even buy gas without a TV screen loudly showing commercials. It seems like it's never quiet. 

That morning meditation was perfect. Wouldn't it be nice if we could start every day like this?

Later in the morning, I paddled around the bay in the kayak. The wind was starting to pick up, which made paddling a bit of a challenge.


We all wanted to SUP. Because the water on the Green Bay side of Door County was so rough, we drove across the peninsula to "the quiet side", the Lake Michigan side. Surprisingly, the water was calm and I was really excited to SUP there. There's an estuary, the Mink River, and I hadn't been there for years. The area is a protected nature preserve and I hoped we'd see all kinds of sights.

My son and his girlfriend
They gave us one short paddle, which made things interesting.
We paddled across the bay and marveled at the beautiful conditions and the scenery. As we approached the mouth of the river, the wind picked up and paddling became difficult. We knew we'd have to head back or risk not getting back across the bay at all. We'll have to save the Mink River for another day. 


I had a 10 mile run to do this weekend and knowing that I had a 5 hour drive home on Sunday left me with only one choice. The run would have to take place on Saturday. As has been the case with all my long runs this summer, I did mental gymnastics trying to convince myself to run the entire distance. I made the decision to run by feel and if I felt up to the entire distance, I'd do it.

The sky was overcast and the temperature was 63 when I headed out the door. Say what? With the wind at my back, I chugged up the big hill to the road that would take me to the bluff park and beyond. In spite of my sore calves from Thursday's sled pushing extravaganza, my legs wanted to go. As much as I wanted to skip my walk intervals, I reminded myself that this was a training run. As I completed the first 4 miles of my run, I exited the park and turned right, continuing on towards my 10 mile planned distance. I breezed along the bluff coast road and took in the beautiful homes that lined the street. I'd driven this road many times but never appreciated the "rolling hills". Fortunately, Becky has me well prepared for this type of terrain.

Porcupine Road down to the beach
This was the bottom third of the hill. There's a sharp right turn at the top, then a sharp turn again to the top.
Holy hamstrings!
I don't know what I was thinking, but on the way back, I took a detour down to Porcupine Beach. Holly and I took a pre-race photo here in May, and I wanted to re-visit it, this time on foot. What I didn't expect was how steep the hill down to the beach actually was. I struggled to walk down these hills without sliding forward. As I walked down to the beach, I had the thought that I was going to have to walk back up! The ascent was as difficult as I imagined. When I got back to the top, an elderly man was walking down. We exchanged greetings and he told me he walks that hill every day. Food for thought for the rest of the run.

Overall, this was a great week for me, workout-wise. I had 2 CrossFit workouts, 2 yoga classes, and 3 runs. While I was not symptom free, RA did not stop me from getting my workouts done. My stress level increased a bit, but I'm hoping that my trip to the north woods helped me to reset and recharge. It was a weekend, packed full of activity and I'm pooped but content.



Do you work hard and play hard? How was your week?

I'm linking up with Holly, Tricia, and guest host Zenaida for the Weekly Wrap.




76 comments :

  1. Sounds like a wonderful weekend with your son and his girlfriend! My youngest son is going to Door County with his girlfriend and her family next weekend. I've got back-to-back 12s on my calendar. Ugh. Glad you can get some time off to relax and reset.

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    1. It was non-stop but I'm so glad I got away. I hope your son has a blast!

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  2. I felt like for me this week was about working hard and then relaxing hard. I think I needed a really low key weekend after a busy few weeks! Thats so nice that you were able to get away to some place quiet for a few days. Great job on that hill run!

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    1. I was thrilled with my runs this weekend!

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  3. This week was a ornery week of recovery. This knee bursitis is total BS for someone who has never had knee probs, EVER. That said, I have done a great job of staying on the down-low, and allowing the entire body to thoroughly relax (well, except my mental state...which has been most impatient LOL). You're luck to have a place like that to escape to ;-)

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    1. I hope your knee calms down! I'm not patient at all, as you know...

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  4. Sounds like an awesome week full of work and play! I had a very busy week between work travel and two races this weekend. I'm looking forward to my cutback week for marathon training starting tomorrow!

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    1. I'm looking forward to my downtime after my half in a couple weeks!

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  5. That last picture is GORGEOUS!!! I had a good week. I did all of my runs (today's run went better than I expected) met a friend for dinner on Friday. Your weekends in Wisconsin always look fabulous!

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    1. I'm so grateful for a place to get away.

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  6. I also struggled with a lot of the negative thinking this week. I am trying to get over it but as you say not easy. I am hoping to get in some paddle boarding time this summer too

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    1. We didn't get enough SUP! The weather here has been nuts. So cold and windy!

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  7. Last week was crazy for me - my younger son graduated elementary school and my older son had full on finals for the first part and then had to play at graduation. I was so ready for this weekend when it arrived. I may (except for some 5ish mile runs) have had a totally lazy weekend.

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  8. Sounds like a great weekend away! That last pic is stunning! Glad you got some down time.

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    1. It was nice to get away from "real life", even for a weekend!

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  9. Love that you got to spend time on the water. It looks beautiful! We had to fight the wind on our SUP too.

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    1. It was wonderful. I can't wait to go back.

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  10. Sounds like a great weekend! I've never tried SUP but it's sure on my list to do one day! My week was pretty low key but I think it's what my body needed!

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    1. It was so fun and I can't wait to do it again!

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  11. Short getaways are great - you can cram a lot in and be done before you get too worn out by all the fun, LOL. I'm a fan. :)

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    1. Oh, I'm exhausted. Heading to bed as we speak.

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  12. I had a 4-day weekend too, and am tired tonight. It was nice to have a break from work, but I don't think I'm ready to go back to work yet. One more day?

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    1. I feel the same way! I need a nap. And I just woke up!

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  13. That sunset picture is amazing, and your time Up North sounds perfect! I encountered a hill in San Diego that I could barely walk up! I was doing walking lunges to make it to the top.

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    1. That's a good idea! The man who walks this hill every day told me he traverses (zig-zags) the hill.

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  14. What a beautiful place to relax and de-stress and ....wow! that sunset! Becky is one tough chick ...perfect trainer for the strong and mighty Wendy! :)

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    1. Ha! I faltered this spring but I'm finding my way back!

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  15. Ahhh... I'm sorry to hear about the stress at work and the RA bs. Your vacation looks amazing though. You had me at wine and fried chicken. YUMMO!!!!!

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    1. Right? The turtle sundae was the bomb!

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  16. I love love love seeing this infusion of CHILL and relax for you.
    No matter how short. Sometimes at least here anyway :-) thats the best and really ALL I need.
    xo

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    1. I've got another one coming up in a month. Sometimes these long weekends are enough.

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  17. That is so true about the constant barrage on our senses, even screens blaring at us while we pump gas! I am overwhelmed myself with trying to balance my summer classes and being available to have fun with my kids for their summer break. I plan to relax this weekend and hit the beach. AMI sounds like a great destination.

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    1. Ooooh! Say hello to the beach for me!

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  18. I'm imagining that fresh, North Woods air! Sounds like I missed the Chi humidity while I was in Vegas. It's been SO cool here since we got back!

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    1. I'm not minding the cool temps as much as I loathed the humidity! I hope it's like this for our half.

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  19. Yes, having fun is very important. Those pics are amazing. So beautiful there!!

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  20. I Wendy... I had to take some leaves of absence from my work too and I remember that feeling when you come back with no vacation. So proud of you for making the most out of the time you have. You are one inspiring woman :-).

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  21. That sounds like an amazing getaway that came at the perfect time. Glad you were able to get so many workouts in with new scenery.

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    1. I love running up there. It's so peaceful and beautiful!

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  22. You know i like to play hard :-) Sounds like a great weekend and just what you needed! I always feel a little change of scenery is so good for the soul! I hope this week is a better week at work!

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    1. I'm home with strep throat, so it didn't start off great! Altho I don't feel that bad so hopefully I can get some things done today.

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  23. Great photos, it looks like such a beautiful area! And great job getting those workouts in with a lot of variety.

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    1. Variety is the spice of life....I do like to mix it up!

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  24. Nice that you got to go to such a peaceful place! I agree, it seems like everything is so "amped up" these days. Whatever happened to lazy days on the porch swing with a glass of lemonade?

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    1. Right? I'm longing for those easy lazy summer days of my childhood.

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  25. That sounds like an awesome weekend! :] I like the "work hard, play hard" mentality a lot! :P It's definitely something I've come to embrace over the years, haha. I've only ever gone once, but I'd love to go stand-up paddleboarding again sometime! *-*

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    1. I can't wait to SUP again! It's one of my favorite summertime activities.

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  26. It sounds like a positively perfect and serene weekend! Glad you had a great time!! :)

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    1. Minus the crazy rain, of course!

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    2. The weather has been ridiculous lately. It felt more like September than June!

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  27. You are for sure working hard!! the picture of that hill is making my calves hurt just from looking at it...

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    1. That hill is ridiculous. I don't know what I was thinking.

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  28. I think Play Hard may be my middle name. Exhausted comes a close second. Quiet times ARE very rare. I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Door County. I think it is the perfect spot for a recharge. I reported earlier, my left hamstring still has not gotten over those hills! What the what?

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    1. I'm going back in July, so I get to charge the hills one more time! Getting ready for our 5k...

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  29. Ahhhhh the north woods. Love, love, love. It's like tree bathing!

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. I'm glad you got to sweat and relax some of that stress away. <3

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    1. Me too. I'm still trying to wash away my Grandma's FOMO...

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  30. Ahh I so work hard and play harder! I know most people think I only play but I do work hard too! I loved seeing all the pictures of you all on the lake. I get this! Just being near the water give me such a calming feeling.

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    1. I know you work hard. Too hard, Tricia! Glad you get to play. Yes to the water play!

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  31. Sounds like a wonderful weekend getaway! Hope it was the reset that you needed. :)

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    1. I don't think it was a complete reset but it sure was fun!

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  32. I love this so much! Yes, I would love to wake up to that every single day because I'm so effected by constant noise, which is why I need quiet on my runs and bikes! Love the SUP, but what the heck with the short paddle? We're leaving for a mini vacation tomorrow and I cannot wait!! First, I have to power through two more super tough workouts but it will be worth it.
    Nice work on getting that 10 miler done...and adding the extra hill :-)

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    1. I emailed the resort where we rented the SUPs and she basically blamed us for not knowing what we were doing...

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    2. WHAT? Oh hell no! That is HER job - not yours. Pfffff. If you wanted to make a stink you totally could. I swear, I'm so sick of crappy customer service. I know I sound like an old lady but it seems like good service is the exception and not the rule.

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    3. Right? I wanted to email her back and tell her what she could do with her mini paddle--but cooler heads prevail. We don't have to go back there...

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  33. What a lovely weekend! And I got you on having to jam-pack your weekends full of fun. You always seem to have the best ways to get out there and really enjoy your time, though! <3

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    1. I like to keep moving! But when you travel with teenagers, you don't have a choice.

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  34. I hope you're feeling better this week after some R&R up in Wisconsin. It looks like you guys had a great weekend.

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    1. We did! It was a great little getaway.

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  35. Work hard to enjoy the play hard moments. Those early mornings on the water...nothing like it.

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    1. I just have to figure out a way to live on the water!

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  36. Yay for another good workout week! Those hills at Porcupine Beach sounds tough, great job!! I've still yet to try SUP, and hope to at some point! It looks fun!

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    1. You would love it! It's fun and a good workout.

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  37. Oh my gosh I LOVE the term mental gymnastics - that is me all summer long.

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