async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: Crushing the Backup Plan

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Crushing the Backup Plan

This year, I've become all about the backup plan. It's hard to let go of what you were, at least for me. I always pictured myself as a goal crusher. This year, I've become a backup plan crusher. I'm not saying this is a bad thing--it means I'm listening to my body and doing what feels good. Crushing the backup plan has become a lot of fun. I'm not training for anything, so along with running, now I'm getting to do all this cool stuff.

Maybe the backup plan is becoming the plan?



This Week in Review:
Sunday: 6 miles
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: rest
Wednesday: 6 mile run and Yoga with Adriene
Thursday: strength train and bootcamp
Friday: rest
Saturday: Run 4 miles, Willy Street Fair in Madison

On Sunday, instead of running my half marathon which I was not at all trained for, my husband suggested a really good backup plan. He had to go to work that morning at Northwestern University, which is located along Lake Michigan in Evanston. His idea was that I go with him and run there while he took care of some things he needed to do. Suddenly, the backup plan was looking pretty good. I got up at 5 and we drove to the campus. He directed me to the lakefront, and I ran north to Gilson Beach in Wilmette. Along the way, I spotted the skyline of downtown Chicago, the painted rocks along the campus shoreline, the mansions along Sheridan Road, the Grosse Point Lighthouse, the Wilmette Marina, and the Bahai Temple.

Clockwise from center: Bahai Temple, Wilmette Harbor, downtown Chicago skyline from Evanston, painted rocks by students along the Lake Michigan shoreline, Lake Michigan sunrise, Grosse Point Lighthouse, this painted shark is my favorite rock!, and running along the beach at Northwestern University. 
Being a local running tourist is a pretty sweet backup plan. This was a really great run except for an episode of profuse sweating and feeling week at mile 3. I stopped to walk and felt as if I might faint. Was this an epic hot flash? Who knows, but while I waited for it to pass, I walked around the Bahai Temple, taking it all in. When the symptoms passed, I finished my run, heading back south along the lakefront. There was a race set up and I crossed the finish line, lol! After I finished, I met up with my husband and we went to breakfast. Who knew that I'd enjoy this way more than I would have the race? I'm definitely going to do more of these types of runs.

My other 2 runs of the week were as different as could be. Wednesday's run was 6 miles of hot, humid ridiculousness. I set out to finish this run and finish it, I did. After reading Debbie's post that morning on stopping negative self-talk, I felt pretty motivated to finish. Run/walk intervals got me there. I don't remember the last time I sweated that much. This run surprised and empowered me! Thank you, Debbie!

Wednesday's scorcher of a run
Saturday's run was supposed to be an 8 miler and conditions were perfect for that and maybe even more! Blue skies and low humidity? It was a runner's dream come true. But...we had a trip to Madison planned to watch our Badger play rugby. As has been the case for me this year, I slept in and only had time for a quick 4. This run turned out to be a progression run, with my splits of 10:22, 10:10, 9:58, and a blazing 9:05. I did 4:1 run/walk intervals during this run, so yeah, that last mile was fast!

CrossFit was 20 minutes of strength work plus a short 8 minute AMRAP of alternating handstand pushups and cleans. The strength work was either toes to bar or hanging knee raises plus v-ups, pistol squats or progression, and bottom of kettlebell press. I had to scale everything. I worked on handstand wall walks alternating with 65# barbell cleans. At the end of the workout, we had to tally our scores and as usual, mine was one of the lowest. When I pointed it out, Coach Sammy Jo told me that this isn't a competition and that I should be proud of what I'm doing there.

Pistol prep because pistol squats are HARD!
True story but then why is the workout for time? Why are we posting scores on the board? I am a competitive person and while I really like the work I do at CF, I don't like rushing through the workout just to get it done. Even those handstand wall walks, which I am very proficient at, felt hurried and my back was starting to bother me.

I continued to ruminate on this and when I went to strength train with Coach Sammy Jo on Thursday, I brought it up. We kind of went back and forth on it; her POV was that I should only compete with myself. True. But my POV was then why post our times? As a runner, my mentality is to compete. We didn't resolve it, but instead moved on to the workout, which was a continuation of last week's 10 rep EMOM. This week I alternated 10 rep back squats with 5-6 pull-ups using the blue band. It was tough and it was empowering. I think about not too long ago when doing pull-ups using the green band (less resistance) felt difficult! I'm pretty excited about my progress! I also carried the damn 85# wreck bag for a couple laps--the one that nearly wrecked my back. Sammy Jo promised that the bag would never hurt me again and it didn't on Thursday.


Bootcamp was killer, but I not only conquered the workout, but I also conquered the clock. This was a 33 minute workout with a variety of activities. I was excited to see rope climbs on the first set of activities--but 6 rope climbs? I did one full and scaled the rest to 5 halfs. I wanted to finish the workout and knew I wouldn't have enough time to do all 6. As I continue to master that skill, those full repeated rope climbs are within my reach! We also did box overs, dumbbell clusters, an 800m run, 400 rope jumps (100DU), 75 atomic situps, 50 sumo deadlift high pulls, and 25 dips. Whew!

By the way, my son's rugby game was a blowout and not in a good way.  He was understandably upset about the outcome, but fortunately, we had a great backup plan already in place. The annual Willy Street Fair was taking place this weekend in Madison and the 5 of us--yes, we brought crazy Cocoa--made our way to the fest. This is a street fair dating back to the 1970s and as I've mentioned in the past, there are a lot of people in Madison who are still living in that era. It was a lot of fun with 3 music stages, lots of people watching, and the smell of weed in the air. There were a lot of dogs there and Cocoa was pretty nervous at first. We bought her some CBD dog biscuits, but it wasn't until she found some cheese curds on the ground that she began to enjoy herself! We all had fun and any time I get to spend with my boys and Diana is time well spent!

Cocoa does not like to have her picture taken!
Man, that was a long post! If you're still with me, thanks for reading. How was your week? Tell me about a time you had to rely on a backup plan to meet your fitness goals. How do you feel about a timed workout that also involves skill work? Any fun street fairs for you this summer?

Running is fun when you're not training for anything! How do you feel about loving your backup plan? /via @oldrunningmom #runchat #running

I'm linking up with Deborah and Kim for the Weekly Rundown!


40 comments :

  1. I'm not into time goals for lifting. It just makes me feel rushed and like I'm going through the motions. If I want to compete with myself, I'll go for a run;-) I'm jealous of your Sunday run tourism!

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    1. When I work with my coach on strength training, we aren't on the clock. CrossFit is different. I'm new to it, so I have to figure out how to make it work for me.

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  2. I think it's always so fun to run in a new place, and it looks like it was definitely a beautiful place to run!

    I've never tried CF, so it's very difficult to really tell, but it seems like an awful lot of folks do get injured doing it. It doesn't appeal to me, which is why I haven't tried it, but it's also hard to judge something you've never tried. I do think you bring up valid points.

    It's never a good idea to sacrifice form for time. It's why I hate that people try to hold planks for so long. Very few of us can hold a plank that long and still have great form, and it's all too easy to injure yourself.

    Sounds like even though you had to rely on the backups a lot, you still had a really fun week - that's winning, if you ask me.

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    1. It was a really great week. I'm learning to embrace my new reality with regards to running. It's been a work in progress. I still love to run, but I'm over fighting my body.

      I'm with you on those plank challenges-what is the point of holding them for time? We do timed planks in CF but we do repetitions, not to fail.

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  3. Oh, ha, I love the tale of Cocoa and her CBD dog biscuits..but only a Wisconsin cheese curd could cure the anxiety :) How sweet.

    Your run along Lake Michigan looks absolutely beautiful.

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    1. That run was a good reminder that there are all kinds of beautiful places to run, even if we don't live near trails or mountains!

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  4. Ah, I recognize all those landmarks from some of my longer runs up towards the suburbs! Aren't the mansions along Sheridan Road something?? My college roommates and I loved the WIlly Street Fair - you can see some pretty unique things there ha. Well done this week with all your workouts. I feel like my whole summer last year was a backup plan - but we are stronger athletes for having to be flexible and adapt!

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    1. I'm really having fun with this whole backup plan thing! Plus it's keeping me in shape to keep up with my boys.

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  5. Wow what a beautiful place for your morning run this weekend! Hey I am all about back up plans. We all need them and sometimes they end up being just what we need! Keep moving forward (with a few zig zags) :)

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  6. Those pics from your run are great! GlD the sick feeling passed! I don’t like to rush through strength moves — I’m more focused on form.

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    1. Exactly my point! I don't understand that part of CF at all. We'll see how it goes over time. I'll just do my thing!

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  7. I love running in a new place and it looks like you had a beautiful new running spot to explore. Good plan by your hubby! That competitive runners' mindset definitely gets me in hot water sometimes too. :)

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  8. I'm on my computer. That means I can respond to your posts. I read everyone but when I am traveling, I only have my phone. For some reason, I can't respond to yours and Kim's.

    Anyway a change of pace is always refreshing. As much as I hate traveling, at least this week I will run in a new place.

    I think you will eventually embrace your new normal.

    You will be my role model. I will not take slowing down well either.

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  9. This weekend was supposed to be the Taste of Pulaski (about a block from my house) but it was cancelled because the Department of Transportation did not give them permission to shut down Archer Avenue. Well it isn't exactly a fair but an event that my mom and I were looking forward to this year.

    I finally had cheese curds a few weeks ago and actually liked them! My cousin's son goes to a school in WI (cannot remember which one) but in one of their trips back home they brought some for us to try.

    That path in Evanston is GORGEOUS!! I've been there maybe two or three times and have enjoyed it.

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  10. I see your point with the timing. I'd totally be trying to beat the others times. It's what we do,right?

    Anyway, Cocoa is showing she is a true Wisconsin-ite by choosing cheese curds over CBD oil. Lol!

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    1. Isn't it the funniest thing? She was so zen after those curds. LOL

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  11. Yes, a backup plan is always a great strategy. Last week's weather kept me second guessing everyday what to do...glad I had the foresight to have a few ideas when I went to bed each night about the next morning's options ;-)

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    1. Since I'm not training for anything, I have a lot of flexibility!

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  12. I loved your husband's idea for you to run while he worked! What gorgeous photos you took as well! That Bahai Temple (actually the whole collage of photos) looks amazing. You are certainly crushing your back up plans, I say!

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    1. I plan on doing more of this running tourism type of running! It's fun to explore on foot!

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  13. Sorry about your son's match but backup plans work great beyond fitness, don't they? Even if your week didn't go exactly as planned, it was still a good week and you got in some good runs. And time with the family. Life is good.

    I was feeling a bit guilty because I was asleep for that motivational phone call but it looks like you had some carry over from the post. Thanks for sharing it.

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  14. I completely see your point of view about Crossfit and posting the times. It's hard not to get competitive when you numbers on a board.

    Would you believe that I've never tried cheese curds? I really need to fix this problem, lol.

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    1. You really do. Cheese curds, especially breaded and fried, are about as good as it gets!

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  15. What a great run! I'm all about the backup plan in life right now. The babies are teaching me all about handling change and new plans. :-)

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  16. I agree with you about posting the CF times...why publicly post if it's not a competition?
    What a beautiful run!

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    1. I'm new to the whole CF world, so I'll need some time to sort this out!

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  17. Your photos from that Sunday run are beautiful! It really does sound like the backup plan went pretty well. It does seem weird to publicly post the cross fit stuff if it's not meant to be competitive...

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  18. That run near your husband's work looks lovely! Even when you're training I think it's important not to get too bogged down in your plan and allow for some flexibility/spontaneity. That being said, I'm kinda looking forward to when I won't be training for something so I can have more guilt free spontaneity ;-)

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    1. I am enjoying not training for anything! It took a while to get used to it, but it's kind of freeing.

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  19. So with you on doing workouts for time AND POSTING THE TIMES! Or reps. As someone who really needs to take some extra seconds to get my form correct before beginning any particular exercise, the rush for time is a bad idea. Also, I go to my workouts to feel good about myself, not depressed that I was the slowest finisher - with the time posted.

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    1. It's hard, mentally, to go from being an age grouper to DFL! LOL

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  20. It looks like this week worked out really well for you! Sometimes the backup plan is the way to go. Way to be flexible!!

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