Fitting It In and Other Disasters

Work and summer have decided to reunite this week, highlighting my previous luxury of working out when I wanted where I wanted. For this week at least, that wasn’t possible. With temperatures in the high eighties and low nineties and high humidity, my original plan to bike or run twice a week outside during the week evaporated. I had forgotten how early four o’clock in the morning actually is. So if you are trying to get eight hours of sleep, that means you need to be in bed sleeping by eight at night. That’s obviously not going to happen. So, almost seven hours it is! 

I know several people who seem to thrive even though they are up at four or even earlier. I know they don’t go to bed by eight or even nine, so I have to wonder how they do it. I have vigilantly guarded my sleep since my first child. I never realized how much I loved my sleep until I had to schedule it in. 

The first morning I was actually excited to wake up. Well, I was when I envisioned it the night before. I pictured myself efficiently getting myself out the door and cruising into the gym by no later than four twenty. Do my thirty minute circuit weight work out and that would easily leave me time for a solid hour of treadmill where I was going to do a speed work out. Back home by six to wake up the family and get ready for work. Easy peasy! Until the dog started to bark around three  in the morning. That’s okay, I told myself, I can nap on the couch. Downstairs, let the dog out, stretch out on the couch. Really should keep a blanket close by for just such an occasion. No worries, our couch has lots of pillows. The kids snuggle under them all the time. Adjust pillows just so, at least my legs are covered. Okay, Sleep! Dog barks. Great!!! Now I can go back to bed. Half way up the stairs I am serenaded by loud jack hammer like noises. Snoring. Okay, no worries, I can leave my door open so I can hear the alarm and snuggle in with my daughter. It is only three thirtyish. I can still catch another thirty minutes sleep. And my alarm is a a little fast, so I can hit the snooze one time. Still make it to the gym by around four thirty and really I should only do fifty minutes total of speed so that I can be home on time. Come oooonnnn SLEEP! But of course I didn’t. At least not until around five of four, and then of course the alarm starts to beep. For some reason in those thirty minutes between walking up the stairs and finally getting another ten or so minutes of sleep my cheer evaporated. No worries turned into son of a bitch! 

Where are my socks? I know I put everything out last night. Except something to hold my hair back, what are they called? Dammit, they are probably all in Katie’s room. If she wakes up, I’ll never get out on time. Finally down the stairs, it’s four twenty five. Where did the time go? I know I only hit the snooze once? Wait, did somebody fix the clock and not tell me? Why would anyone do that? Bastards! The dog wants to go out again? WTF!!! Hurry! Okay, I’ll eat a granola bar while I’m waiting. Only awake for twenty minutes I already am down one hundred eight calories. Not suppose to be about that, but really is a chocolate chip granola bar really going to make me strong? God, I’m tired. Where’s the damn dog? It’s almost four thirty five!!! Go out and round up the dog, grab my bag and keys and out the door I go. Damn, I have to pee again!!! I think I pee more than anyone else on the earth. 

Finally get to the gym. I had bypassed the braid for a pony tail that was sagging down the back of my head and making me crazy. Jump right into my work out, skip going to the bathroom. Hey!!! The burpee things are finally getting easier. Starting to feel calmer and a little more relaxed, even though I am racing through the strength portion to try to make up time. It all goes smoothly and I am on to my morning run. 

I choose the treadmill at the very end which is at a perfect position to watch both ESPN stations and Comcast Sports. By the way, if you are up at four or five in the morning, don’t expect any sports from Comcast, it is filled with informercials on getting rid of wrinkles or cellulite. I find this very disappointing. 

Okay, speed work out. I can do this. So she said put in a good jogging speed and then a good race pace. Her race pace was around seven and half minutes per mile, yeah, I’m not that fast. And I was tired. I was down to about forty five minutes total on the treadmill and that included warm up and cool down. This was not going to be a banner workout day. Clip on the little thingy, plug in my headphones, for the first time I am prepared. Except the television doesn’t work. Not Available, little words across the display shine through totally not caring that I finally remembered to bring my headphones and I wanted to hear about the Seattle Packers game to be played that night. I debated going to another machine but could feel the minutes ticking away. My husband wanted to leave for work by six, I needed to leave on time. I started the machine with speed work out. Enter your miles per hour, the machine requests. Here is where it gets interesting. Miles Per Hour and Minutes Per Mile are VERY, VERY different. So when I put in 12, thinking I was doing a twelve minute mile for my jogging speed and then nine for my running speed, I was totally unprepared for the machine to just go crazy. I was flying. Because it was going twelve miles per hour. 

Now, I’m a Quigley. And the thing about Quigley’s is that we would much rather suck it up in pain then create any type of scene ever. So the machine is racing underneath me, I am pumping my legs for all I am worth and stabbing at the damn down arrow to slow the  stupid thing down. Which doesn’t work. My heart is pumping. Am I worried that I am going to get hurt? Hell no. I’m worried I’m going to go flying off the machine and make a total ass out of myself. As tired as I am, I might even start crying. This would be a total and complete catastrophe. I didn’t want to be the old lady who went flying off the treadmill. Finally, and yeah it was about all of maybe five seconds, I found the pause button. I hit cancel, like three times to be sure that fucker wouldn’t start up again. And then cautiously looked around. If anyone noticed they weren’t making eye contact with me. Took a breath. Fuck the speed work outs. Started the machine and manually, slowly adjust the speed. 

After about a quarter mile of walking at a 12 minute per mile pace, I pumped up the speed to ten and then to nine. I was feeling pretty good even though it was taking forever to make a mile. I had adjusted the incline to three to adjust for wind resistance, although I didn’t feel any adjustment. After about a mile I decide to try a speed work out, nine minutes felt okay, although I hadn’t been doing it very long, so I pushed to eight and a half minutes. It was only for a half mile, so I should only have to do it for four minutes. Man that was a long four minutes. After all this time, my endurance still sucks. I couldn’t wait to back it down and found myself doing number games. I tried every trick I could remember. But there was no, just get to that car and see how you feel, or get to the stop sign. For a brief second in my crazy head, I did think, just get to the mirror, but of course reality shot it down before it could become a full thought. That’s when it hit me, it was just me and the machine. My plan for headphones had failed for the day. I backed it down to ten MINUTE miles. I was tired. After about five minutes I adjusted again to nine. After forty minutes, I hit the cool down. Five minutes later, I wobbled off with that feeling that I am walking slanted. 

I was done my work out for the day. I didn’t feel accomplished or that I had put in a good work out. On these days, I tell myself it is the process of going and maintaining the habit. It isn’t a total fail.  I was already tired and hadn’t even had breakfast. By the time I drove home I felt much better. Later that afternoon, when I came home from work I would take a quick nap. 

But here is one crazy shining moment I can take from that experience. For about five seconds I ran at a pace of twelve miles per hour. I am fucking Wonder Woman!


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