Sunday, January 16, 2022

Fighting the Good Fight

For those of us who work in healthcare, especially those of us who are working with patients, things have never been so bad as they've been the past couple of weeks. I don't talk much about work here on the blog, but I don't think I've ever felt as burned out and run down as I have lately. This current surge is affecting children more than we've seen with any other strain of Covid.  I'm testing multiple patients throughout the day and the large majority of them are testing positive. Combine that with the mental health crisis we are seeing in pediatrics and yeah, it makes for a tough day. 

The good news is that at least here in the Chicago area, the numbers of Covid cases are starting to level off. My hope is that this variant continues on its fast and furious pattern, burning itself out soon. Fortunately, none of the kids I've seen are very sick. I wear my N95 mask all day with the hope of not getting sick. 

It's increasingly hard to motivate myself to go to work. Making sure that I get in a run or a workout before my day begins has continued to keep me grounded. I also have tried some meditation through the Happify app and that simple act of breathing and centering helps to keep my anxiety down. I'm certainly not ready to leave my job, but I am ready for things to normalize somewhat. 


Weekly Rundown
Sunday: TM progression run 4 miles
Monday: pool running
Tuesday: CrossFit
Wednesday: trail run 6.5 miles
Thursday: strength training
Friday: run 5.3 miles
Saturday: rest

Running

Everything was coated with ice--I could have skated on my driveway--so on Sunday, I once again took it to the treadmill. I did a progression run, 4 miles. I hoped to go further but my body said no. Thankfully on Wednesday, it warmed up and things started to thaw a bit. I was able to run on the trails and it was wonderful. I ran into one of my friends and chatted with her for quite a while! The trails were packed down and I moved pretty quickly around the single tracks. 


Friday morning was dark and gloomy, but still relatively warm, so I laced up my road shoes and ran a zippy 5-ish on the bike path. There were still some icy patches that I had to zig-zag around. On the way back, I caught up to a couple of male runners. Challenge accepted and I sped up, passing them and leaving them in the dust, lol. The final mile was along the frontage road and I didn't stop to walk until I got home. This run felt good and was my fastest yet. I am still using some run/walk intervals, but I am hoping to drop them in the next month or so. I continue to be thrilled with my post-injury return to running!

Pool Running

I found out that the pool actually wasn't closed due to Covid, only swim lessons and 'open swim', which was subject to interpretation. Apparently, my pool running activity counts as lap swimming. Confusing much? Anyway, I did the Life is a Highway workout, which is one of my favorites. Lots of big movements and endurance runs. I sweated my way through it and felt really happy to be in the water. It's amazing to me that those same endorphins I get from running also happen from pool running! Is pool runner's high a thing?

Strength and CrossFit

I was up for the 5 am CrossFit class on Tuesday. The strength portion had front squats. We had to build to about 75% for 5 sets of 2. I did 85#.  In between, we had to accumulate 2 minutes of hollow hangs from the bar. The MetCon had something called the 'Death Race" during which we had to do 5 sets of 10 calories on the assault bike alternating with 10 burpees. The goal was 10 minutes. I finished in 10:26 but was not DFL. I call that a win!


On Thursday, SJ had me start with some resistance band work for the glutes. After that, we did bench presses, 4 sets of 6 at 65#!!! I have a soft goal of a 100# bench press and this made me feel like that might happen. I finished with 3 sets of 10 barbell rows (65#). 



One more thing... 

When I got to the pool on Monday,  I showed them my vaccine card as required. An elderly woman came in behind me and had a meltdown when asked to do the same. She was quite rude and I spoke up after she threw her card at the attendant. There is no excuse for that kind of behavior! It happens to me at work, especially when I ask parents to pull their masks up over their noses. I asked the attendants if they wanted me to hold her under the water when we were in the pool. It was a joke.

They laughed. 

Can we all just be kind?

I'm going to finish this post on an upbeat note! Here's my official race photo of me sliding down Buttslide Hill from last week's Frozen Gnome 10k trail race. What a fun race!


How was your week? Are you having to take your runs indoors because of ice? Have you had to show your vaccine card to enter any places? Have you ever slid down a hill on your butt during a race?

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


44 comments :

  1. I'm sorry things are so tough at work. This pandemic is taking a toll on everyone and it seems like kindness and human decency have fallen by the wayside lately. Glad to hear meditation is a bright/calming spot for you. I've bee leaning into that as well.

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    1. It was a really difficult week. It's been building for a while and for me at least, it hit critical mass. Clicking out of a Zoom meeting felt good too. I need to take charge of my health and I did just that as the week went on.

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  2. I can only imagine how tough it is on a daily basis at work for you all in healthcare. I am sure people are so stressed when they come in and don't always give you the respect you deserve. Thank goodness for running and exercise to counteract that. What a great race photo! Frame worthy!

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    1. Thank you! I don't know about frame worthy but it sure was a fun race!

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  3. Sorry for all the stress for you on the job. Tough times for all of us. Unfortunately the Covid rudeness continues...I've seen a lot of people's true colors, through all this, and it has not been pretty. That is a great butt-slide pic!

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  4. I can only imagine how stressful things are at work. And the rudeness people feel the need to display is just off the charts!

    Thank goodness for workouts and meditation!

    I love that race photo - your smile says it all :)

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    1. I ran there again today. It's a crazy hilly preserve, but it's a lot of fun!

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  5. Sorry you're dealing with so much at work. I saw that speedy run, great job!

    I saw the cross country team from our local community college on my trail run on Friday. I was on my way down while 5 guys were still going up. I decided I didn't want them to catch me on their way back. Two of them did, but with less than half a mile to go. They were chatting, while I was huffing and puffing! It felt good to "beat" the other 3!

    We went to Hawaii 3 times last Fall, so showing our vaccine cards became routine. I feel sorry for the people who have to check them, it's not their decision, but it can be their job on the line of they don't check. It's selfish to take it out on them.

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    1. I enjoy those impromptu competitions, even if the competitors have no clue that it's ON!

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  6. Yes, I can't even imagine how stressful it must be for healthcare workers these days! I think (hope) you're right- omicron will burn itself out soon and we'll get back to... er... normal?
    I agree, people can be so rude. Why??? Why not just make things easier for everyone, even if you don't agree with a policy, and go along with it? The woman in your story obviously had her vaccine card- what's the big deal with presenting it in a civilized way? People are very strange.
    Anyway, glad you're out there running! I'm planning to get in a trail run this week too- it's been way too long for me. Hang in there!

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    1. I'm feeling much better this weekend than I was earlier in the week. There's some other stuff going on at work that I didn't share, but the onslaught of covid patients this week pushed me over the top.

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  7. I cannot imagine how stressful it is for you these days... you are handling it well. I'm sure running helps.

    That is a great pic and no I've never done that but I did fall running through the finish line and of course, the photographer capture it lol

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    1. My friend walked down the hill! It's buttslide hill. How do you not butt slide? LOL

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  8. Would you believe that my mom's community doesn't ask for proof of vaccination? They do have a machine at the entrance that asks all the questions, and takes your temp too. And they will turn you away if you have a fever. Then there was the doctors' office that changed their policy after I'd driven down to take my mom to them, requiring the card (I had a photo on my phone). Except they never asked for it at that visit, or the next . . .

    I would not want to do your job. Period. End of story. But I am back to masking when I visit my mom.

    Obviously you've done a great job recovering!

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    1. It amazes me how easily I was able to return to running and that is definitely something to be very grateful for!!

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  9. Sending Positive Vibes - You Are An Inspiration To All Of Us - Big Hugs My Friend

    Cheers

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    1. Thanks so much Travis--it's been really tough. But then I have a bunch of patients who thank me and tell me they love me and well...I can't imagine leaving.

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  10. Wendy, I'm so sorry for what you and all healthcare workers are dealing with. I can't even imagine. Please know that you are amazing and the world is lucky to have you!

    That picture of you at the trail race sliding down the hill is priceless!

    I'm so glad you spoke up to the rude woman at the pool. People are just so unkind sometimes...wow.

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    1. I was shocked at myself, but she was so rude! It's exhausting dealing with people like that.

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  11. Thank you for staying in the fight and doing what you can to help your patients. As of yesterday we have a new governor who immediately reversed the mask mandate for schools and appointed a secretary of health who minimized break-through infection data because it could include people exposed with virus in their noses but not really infected. Maybe so, but there are plenty of fully vaccinated people who are getting sick. Argh! Thank goodness for running to burn off that stress.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your new governor...I saw that he did that and I just don't understand that mentality at all.

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  12. What a great picture of you sliding down the hill at the Frozen Gnome 10K. It's a keeper!

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    1. I just love this race and I'll be returning in the spring for the Earth Day 15m on the same course. No buttsliding tho...lol

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  13. That's a great race picture!!!!
    Thank you for hanging in there and fighting the good fight! This "situation" has really taken a toll on so many.
    Tell me about this pool running workout. I didn't know there were different workouts to follow. Are you listening to something ( do you have earbuds/airpods in)

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    1. Yes! I use the Fluid running app. You can purchase just the app or the whole package. It's at fluidrunning.com

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  14. Love the race picture! I don't think I've ever ran a trail race in the winter, so no sliding on my butt :) I can only imagine how overwhelmed your office must be now. I know so many people that were sick last week, but as you said, they are getting better faster. I do hope the situation improves soon!!

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  15. Butt slides are the best.
    HUGS on the rest. Why have we as a society lost our manners?
    I don't have to show my vax card in too many places because omicron has me skittish. If I were going out as I was in the fall I'd have to show at museums. Also indoor dining, but I've not done that yet. I think everywhere indoors besides schools and healthcare are under Key to NYC

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    1. I think you know what has happened to make people so rude...

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  16. It must be very hard weeks for you, Wendy!
    Looking at the Covid stats in South Africa, the infection rates are on a steep downwards trend. The numbers are not very reliable as not everyone get's tested, but at least it's an indication that there's hope at the end of the tunnel.
    I love that butt-sliding photo. I'd make that my profile pic on my phone!

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  17. Love your race photo! We're not allowed to use our vaccine cards (actually we didn't get one for our boosters), we have to show the NHS app on our phones or generate a covid passport via that that you can show on the phone or have emailed to yourself and print out. A dreadful idea given that some people don't have smart phones - you can I think get a letter from your GP but it's very discriminatory in my opinion. Also sorry about the rude woman, well done you for speaking up.

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    1. That's really interesting about the NHS app! No, we have paper cards that can be easily reproduced by unscrupulous people...

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  18. I am sorry for the situation at work. Here the covid situation is terrible too.
    Well done on the challenge with the 2 male runners. Here we call such runners "the Sunday runners". They are not real runners and their characteristic is to overtake the runners they meet on the road. I have a tactic for these "gentlemen". I don't overtake them in my turn but I stay behind them at a distance of a few meters running at their same pace. Not being trained these begin to show signs of nervousness and then abandon the path to turn right or left and to stop at the first corner they find. As I know these behaviors I also turn to the right/left and when I see them "hidden" to rest I greet them ironically.

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    1. Ha! That's exactly what I did. I cruised behind the one guy for a while. I stopped for a walk interval when the other guy passed me. When it was time to run again, I picked up the pace and left both of them in the dust. Ok, maybe not so much but I did leave them behind and it was satisfying!

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  19. I love that Frozen Gnome picture! So funny!

    I don't know what is wrong with people! I have never seen more entitled, unkind, and hideously behaved adults. I am so embarrassed on their behalf.

    I wish I could give you a big hug. I can't even imagine what you are going through right now.

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  20. That Frozen Gnome photo is great! I can tell you had fun while running that race.

    Everyday I saw a prayer for everyone working in healthcare. I truly cannot imagine how all of you are dealing with the craziness and I really hope that things level off soon. I keep hearing that the healthcare field is on the verge of collapse and I definitely believe that will happen if things don't change.

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    1. I think the nail in the coffin was the CDC's declaration that HCW could return to work in 5 days after a Covid diagnosis. I know of a lot of colleagues who are leaving their positions.

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  21. Hang in there dear. Health workers have sustained and carried us all through this pandemic and you don't deserve the harsh treatment.

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    1. We have a lot of work to do to get back to a kind and caring world.

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  22. Hi Wendy! I'm a couch potato myself (I struggle to include a nice, sedate walk in my puny little fitness routine) but I find your pleasure in your runs & your fitness activities positively inspiring! Not to mention your work on the front lines as I can't imagine how difficult the situation must be now for health care workers. Keep up the good work! Loved your race photo, BTW.

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