Saturday and Sunday are my girls. No, I mean, like, for real, they have become my trustworthy friends, always having my back when a tough week can run me down.
Who doesn’t love the weekends? Friday morning starts that positive vibe in most of us, where we know we’re approaching happy hours, brunch and extra sleep. For me, I am totally excited to spend the next 48-hours with my thoughts and my cardiovascular system.
Sure, a night out with friends, having a few drinks, is great and all, but suddenly I am more inclined to get home Friday night and begin my decent into a good night’s sleep, so that I can wake up, and focus on my hardest workouts of the week (which are always my favorite), shop for my favorite most nutritious foods and relax on the couch with my legs up and coffee in hand. Maybe it’s not your idea of weekending, but I think that’s what makes it special - it’s completely YOUR TIME TO DO YOU.
With Ironman training, weekends are most crucial to us swim-bike-run enthusiasts. Ok, let me at least speak for myself here…they are most crucial to me. I exercise 6-7 days/week and though every day includes tough workouts, the weekends are the toughest because they’re the longest. Saturday and Sunday are the only days I have to get in all the hours required to take my endurance to the next level. And most importantly, they’re the only days I have to do just the opposite - RELAX, unwind and reflect.
Lately, this is how it has been breaking down:
I leave the office by 7pm, all smiles, but lots of aches and pains from a long week and come home to put together a healthy, carb & protein-packed meal for dinner. I stretch, foam roll, maybe ice those aches, and lay out my cycling/run gear for my early AM BRick workout. No wine, no problem, but definitely chocolate before a teeth brushing, and I’m in bed by 10pm...or at least that's the goal. Sleep time = approx. 7 hours..
Rise and shine at 5:45am and tip toe out of the bedroom so as to not wake that sleeping husband of mine. Dress and pack in the living room (as everything has already been set up on dining room table) and run the 15minutes to T2 Multisport for my 6:30am computrainer class with the Terrier Tri team. At T2, I get in my cycling gear, eat 1/2 protein bar (usually a Quest or Rise bar) before the class and the 1/2 half afterwards. I hop on my bike (which I store there in the winter) and sit on the trainer and ride a series of tough small and long intervals, working in various effort zones, racing against my teammates on simulated courses that in fact exist all over the world (This Saturday we did the Ironman Syracuse 70.3 course which we learned the hard way has one huge hill). 2-3 hours later, after puddles of sweat have formed below me, I am off the bike, switch into sneakers, put on my little backpack and off I go - it’s run time! This weekend I did 2.5 hours on the bike and then 5 miles on the run in Central Park. This is called a BRick (bike + run). It’s not easy, but it’s required training for race day - learning to run on very tired legs. To think - I’ll be biking 112 miles and then running 26.2! AH. I am truly a crazy person. Anyway, so after the run, I get home, stretch, foam roll, eat a ton of amazing food- usually going for the most carb-friendly option to replenish such as oatmeal, with a protein smoothie or shake to get my energy back up (This time I had egg whites on sprouted grain toast with avocado, greens and parmesan, plus a protein smoothie). Then after I down a few glasses of water, I shower, get back in my sweats and I couch sit for a few hours…reading, blogging, relaxing. It’s the best feeling to sit back after accomplishing a lot in the morning hours. Aside from food shopping and other mini errands, the day is dedicated to recuperating and saving the legs for weekend workout day 2! Alcohol is out, sleep is in, and BForge is excited for her favorite activity all week - a long run! Nighty night.
I'm usually up and at ‘em by 7:30am, to prep for the run. I feed myself a proper meal (usually consisting of sprouted grain toast, almond butter and banana), with coffee (obviously), do a lot of stretching and rolling and dress for the winter wonderland outside, making sure I’m properly layered-up. The night before I am sure to charge my Garmin/heart rate monitor, plus my iPod (gotta have tunes for my solo long runs!) Most Sundays, these runs are done alone, so music is necessary, but once a month is a Sunday team run so I of course skip the beats in exchange for some convo with my comrades. Lately, I’ve been running up to 11 miles and that will continue to increase as I get closer to my Ironman race in August. But we’re already at the point where my weekends have become double-days…which means TWO WORKOUTS A DAY. This Sunday, 3/1, I swam 1100yds and then ran 11 miles, back to back. FUN! (No, seriously, I kinda loved it). Swimming is one of my favorite pastimes now so that’s like eating candy for me, and then running with like-minded, cool, fun people? Keep me signed up for that. I’m usually home well before noon and I’m ready for more yummy meals, and more time with my thoughts. Not to say I don’t do brunches with friends or go out and enjoy myself, but lately I’ve opted out to fully let my body chill. My husband enjoys his Brazilian Ju Jitsu classes, comes home and we have a nice dinner together and enjoy one another’s company on Sundays. (Spending the morning apart with our respective fit fams has actually made us a stronger couple as we appreciate ourselves more). Healthy love is a most important kind of love.
Monday comes and I hit the ground running with a workout (usually cross training or a swim) and then an extremely busy B work schedule filled with meetings, conference calls and much too much time seated. (I’ve come up with tricks to avoid that though which one day we'll review). But the stress level is high during the week, even though I have time to burn those calories early in the morning. Weekends have surely become my time to accomplish feats that I can’t commit to during the week, and make myself a tad bit better than I was the week before. I think we all need to look at our reflection once in a while and check up on our health. Are you taking care of yourself and getting what you need on your off days? (Even if yours fall mid week?) I strongly suggest throwing in a run, spin class, yoga or meditation class...really ANYTHING that brings you peace and a strong sense of self.
Weekends can be for partying, and I guess at some point I did my fair share. But my most recent party is just sweatier and more sober than some. That may not be your idea of werkin' and that's fine. Bottom line - whatever your next weekend schedule involves, just make sure you enjoy yourself and take care. That’s what life is truly all about.