Saturday, May 4, 2024

Sweating it Out

Once again, running and my workouts were there to help me get through a stressful week. This week, my parents were the main source. My dad has been having some minor health issues but made them into everyone's problem. I won't go into details, but I did get a glimpse of what the future looks like for my sisters and me. It's not going to be pretty. 

On the plus side, Cocoa has completely recovered from her surgery! I bought her some new tennis balls this week and we've been busy chasing them around the backyard. She also chased a big opossum out of our yard. Yeeeesh....

Running was my salvation. So was CrossFit. There's nothing better to relieve stress than to sweat it out. As always, I am grateful that my body still lets me push it.

Weekly Rundown
Sunday: trail run 10 miles
Monday: CrossFit
Tuesday: Fluid Running
Wednesday: Trail run 5.5 miles
Thursday: CrossFit
Friday: run 6 miles
Saturday: rest

April miles: 91

We were home this weekend and on Sunday, I had plans to meet up with the Trail Sisters at my local preserve! No one was at the trailhead when I arrived, so I texted our leader, who told me she canceled the run. She was worried about thunderstorms. I somehow missed the message but I was there, so off I went! I started on the main trail, which the group would have done. But when I reached the road where I could cross to the east preserve or stay on the main trail, I crossed and headed into the woods on the single track. I'm glad I did because the deer triplets were feeding along the trail. 

I continued into the woods and found a few more deer lying in the brush. After I looped around the east preserve, I stopped at the main building to use the bathroom and refill my water, then headed back across the road. I ran the main trail and some single track, finishing at my car with 10 miles exactly! When does that ever happen? I was really pleased with this run. I felt really strong, only starting to feel some tightness in my hamstrings in the last mile. It never rained while I was out there, and started to drizzle as I drove away.

I woke up on Monday morning not feeling so great. I chalked it up to a mini RA flare, took some ibuprofen, and went to CrossFit. Thankfully, it was a WOD I could modify to accommodate my aches and fatigue. The strength/skill portion was a bar complex. We were given a variety of ways we could do this. I chose the option of 10 second hangs, beat swings, kip swings, leg raises (working toward toes to bar). We finished with a 10 minute AMRAP of 8 cals on the bike, 10 single-arm dumbbell cleans to a jerk, and 30 crossovers. I had never done crossovers before and doubted I'd be able to do them. Coach said that coordination is one of the fundamentals of CrossFit, lol. I gave it a whirl and after a few attempts got one. I never did string a few together, but it was fun to try! I finished 3 full rounds and 1 more 8 cal ride on the bike.

I realized I had forgotten my flotation belt when I arrived at the pool early Tuesday morning. I asked the pool attendant for one and was told he wasn't allowed to give me one, citing a 'class'. There was no class scheduled until 6:45 and I'd be long gone by then. This rule made no sense to me and I asked the manager to give me one to use. With their belt, I wasn't able to tether myself to the wall as I usually do. This meant that I did some traveling across the dive well, which was different! My pool belt is in my car now--I won't forget it again!

Wednesday morning was sunshiny and beautiful! I arrived at the preserve, needing some nature time, the only car in the parking lot. I was still feeling fatigued as I started on the single track. Was it from my mini-flare? Life stress? The humidity? The pollen? Whatever it was, I decided to take it slow and enjoy the ride around the woods. I didn't see any deer but I saw some sandhill cranes--who knew they could land in a tree--and lots of other birds. I knew I was tired because I caught my toes multiple times on tree roots in the trail, but thankfully, I stayed upright. Springtime is lovely in the woods and I am so grateful to have access to these trails so close to home.

I woke up in a world of hurt Thursday morning--thanks RA-- and considered not going to CrossFit. But there were rope climbs in the WOD and you know I love those! Coach put us through an extensive warmup before we started and then let us just play on the ropes. My goal was to have 3 strong climbs and then to work on my foot clamp, using a different grip than the one I currently use. This grip should make me more efficient, but it is less secure...and we all know what happened to me 3 years ago. After nailing my 3rd climb, I spent the rest of my time working on the grip. It is going to be a work in progress. The MetCon was a 10-8-6-4-2 'chipper' of bike calories, GHD situps, and pistol squats. I don't have pistols, so I did a scaled version on a box. I finished in 8:13. 

Damp, cloudy, and humid--I thought Friday's run would be a struggle, but instead, it was surprisingly comfortable. I reflected on how much this path is a part of my personal running history. I can't even fathom how many miles I've run here! It's great to have such a great trail I can run right from my front door!

Fitness Challenges for May

Occasionally, my gym has some fitness challenges, and this month I am participating in a Wellness Challenge. For this week, we had to be active 5 days this week, with 2 classes at the gym. That was easy! I think there will be other assignments coming up which will include nutrition, hydration, and stress management. Stay tuned. 

The Cure Arthritis Challenge is back this year. I've participated in this challenge in the past. It's simple--we just have to log miles of movement. The goal is to bring awareness to autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as RA, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, Bechet's disease, and others. The goal for the challenge is to accumulate 30,000 miles!

How was your week? Do you rely on running and your workouts to help you manage your stress? Is anyone else dealing with aging parents?

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


  1. My parents are both having some health issues as well. It is really hard to watch them age and get ill and kind of scary. It is definitely stressful! Exercise is definitely a great stress reliever for me as well.

    1. Yes, scary is a good word for it! My parents are only 20 years older than me, which is what scares me.

  2. Ugh sorry to hear about the RA flare-up but wow way to go on the rope!
    I hate seeing my parents age. Both had major surgery over the past few months and not being nearby to help has been hard. Thank goodness for exercise to get our minds off it!

  3. Exercise is such a great stress reliever. I'm so thankful it's an option. I thought of you this morning when I looked out my laundry room window and saw two deer grazing near the creek in our back yard.

    1. I love that they come into your yard! Maybe you don't--i know they can be a nuisance.

  4. We’ve been dealing with parental health issues as well — mostly on with my in-laws, but my mom’s issues are chronic.

    I’m glad you were able to exercise through your RA flares — movement ^is^ medicine when you can do it!

    Great news on Cocoa!

    1. Motion is lotion, as we like to say, especially with a little help from ibuprofen, lol

  5. Knock wood, my parents are still in decent health for their age (84 and almost 87). but I can tell my mom's mind is not at 100% anymore. It is tough seeing the changes that come with age.

    1. I didn't even mention my mom's memory, which is seriously declining. It's a little overwhelming, between the 2 of them.

  6. I LOVE your trails! Yes, you are very lucky.
    Both my parents are gone (I miss them!) and yes, dealing with their health issues was pretty intense towards the end. it really is hard. I'm glad you have sisters to help you out with this.
    That photo from Friday's run- it looks like it's about to storm any minute!

  7. It is wonderful you have that trail so close and I'm glad you were able to get comfort from your running and other activities this week. We're going through difficult health stuff with my parents-in-law, it's so hard when both of them are getting frail with different problems. Thankfully they are reasonably close by.

    1. My parents are also within 45 minutes--so at least if I need to be there, I can. But it sure is a challenge.

  8. Hugs. Aging parents are so hard. We have our own challenges ahead of us, and it's not fun. I can empathize and am here if you need to vent.

    I'm glad you have running and cross fit to help you burn stress. I'm sure it's super helpful.

  9. Definitely understand the stress of health issues with a parent. Fortunately my dad is doing really well right now, I hope everything gets sorts with yours. At least you do have the siblings to share the emotional burden and decision making...

    Anyways, what a strange rule at the pool, but I guess the attendant was just doing his job! You're so diligent with the pool running. I'm impressed!

    So so glad that Cocoa is on the mend and chasing those tennis balls around!

    1. She is pretty much back to her old self! Dogs are the best, aren't they?