The best part of the work week is the weekend. It’s the couple days of the week where we get to sleep in, sit around, do nothing…and inevitably, we jam-pack it with as many things as we possibly can. Brunches, lunches, dinners, drinks, hikes, bikes. If you’re anything like me, you also try to maximize the weekend with grocery shopping, errand running, and long workouts.

This past weekend, D and I went up to his parent’s cabin so that I could spend the weekend piecing together my presentation for my defense. No internet means no distractions. Except that I get cell phone signal, so still get Facebook, but in the end…no “real” distractions. No brunches, lunches, dinners, drinks.

The problem with weekends is we also tend to loosen up a bit on the regimen we stick to during the week. The last time I posted, I was going to try harder to stick to one so that I would stay committed to getting at least a workout in a day…and especially making sure I was getting in the pool. Monday through Friday, I managed to stick to my plan. Getting in and out of work at normal times, getting a workout in most days. Looking at my workout log, the only day I skipped was Wednesday. 4 of the 5 days were running days, but that was expected since I would be traveling and away from the pool.

And then the weekend happened – Saturday and Sunday. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with weekends for the past three years. For the first two years, weekends were jam-packed with homework because I was in the midst of my master’s program. The final of those three years, they’ve been jam-packed with life, work, and my master’s project. Exercising has always been something that I’ve had to squeeze in (and usually drop), and thus, weekends have become exhausting.

The cabin we were at is up in northern Wisconsin, not too far from my parent’s home.The best part about northern Wisconsin – and one of the things I loved about my home – was running on the country roads. It’s just you and the pavement, and pavement if you’re lucky (or unlucky if you like dirt roads). But give me a late afternoon run, on an isolated road, with the late summer sun filtering through the trees, over a run around Lake Calhoun any day. Nothing is more revitalizing and freeing than a back-country run, and I was looking forward to running this one loop that I’d been avoiding all summer.

However, fate stepped in, probably to protect me from hurting my hip (someone needs to buy new shoes).

My boyfriend’s mother has been emailing me with pictures of a cougar that has been on the prowl around the cabin. Friday night, we found out it was spotted within a quarter mile of where I’ve been running. D asked me not to run anymore, and even my dad advised me not to run anymore. While I was going to listen to D regardless, it means something when my dad advises me not to be running anymore. Usually, the answer is that the wildlife is more afraid of me than I am of them. However, his bit of advice was followed with “have D follow you with a handgun.” Right. So, running was out.

Here’s the real problem with weekends: food. You know what you do on the weekend? You stop eating healthy. Which is exactly what I did. I probably had about 2 servings of fruit and veggies the whole weekend. Everything else was coffee, chips, muffins, banana bread, pancakes, ice cream, and candy bars. And you know what? It was all delicious. I relished in the pigging out.

You know what else?

And I paid for it on my run today. Not only had I not been drinking enough water, but I practically could hear every muscle in my body craving for nutrients. Craving for carrots, strawberries, apples, bananas. Every muscle hurt, I had to walk every 10 minutes, and I ran slow. It was so disappointing, especially in comparison to the runs I’ve had in the past few days. I challenged myself to take routes that were extremely hilly, and I had done them without walking and at a good, healthy pace. And now here I am, on my flat city route, huffing and puffing, and walking past the kids who are giving me the stink eye, and inevitably judging me for walking. It’s why I avoid the city lakes when I run. Not only did I forget to get dressed up (or maybe dressed down??) or put make-up on for my run, but everybody stares at you. And you can almost feel the judgment exuding from other joggers when you slow down to walk and catch a breath. #reasonstoavoidCalhoun (tag me @hafless if you have other reasons to avoid Calhoun!).

So here’s how the last week (Monday 9/10 – Today, Sunday 9/16) added up:

1. Swims: 2300 yards (1.3 miles)

2. Runs: 13.8 miles

And here’s how the next week (Monday 9/17 – Sunday 9/23) is shaping up:

1. Master’s presentation on Thursday 9/20. Which means working, working, working, Monday – Wednesday night.

2. Little brother’s wedding in Wisconsin on Saturday 9/22. Which means traveling, drinking, and probably not working out.

So another adventurous week begins. I’m not sure what it’ll mean in terms of workouts – will it just be another week of more running than swimming, or can I successfully get these swims in? This whole 2×30 thing is not working out as I had planned.


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