How My Busy Afternoon Screwed a Great Workout

There are afternoons that just fly by like like the clock has had too many grande red-eyes from Starbucks.  It is that situation where you start working on something at 1pm and then suddenly realize that it is already 4pm and realize that you haven’t had your afternoon snack.

No Snack Just Yet

But, just as you get up to grab that snack, the phone rings and the boss needs something that super-cedes that snack.  For the next hour or so you are caught in a meeting and thinking of that snack you so need.  Then you realize that you have a group strength workout at 6pm…  this better wrap up fast!

It doesn’t.  You’re stuck.  With just a few minutes to spare, the meeting wraps up and you speed across town to the gym, only to arrive in time to change.  Then you realize that the snack you’ve been dreamin’ about for the past few hours is still at the office.  Ugh!  Your tummy growls and you wonder how you are going to get through a group strength and cardio workout from hell.

The Beginning of the Sabotaged Workout

The warm-up on the treadmill went okay as did the stretching circuit.   Stepping into the weight room and looking at the mats, the incline bench and weights sitting on the ground.  How far am I going to push this?

Pumping weights was easy, but the step-ups with alternating legs and 25 pounds quickly started to drain the energy out of me.  Finishing the last of the 15 leg lifts, our group trainer informed me that the cardio portion was two 90 second sprints on the treadmill.  Busted…

The first circuit really wasn’t too bad, but I knew I was on borrowed time.  The step-ups were the worst and I could feel my heart pounding even though it was quite low at 145 bpm. I was also sweating profusely and I struggled with every breath.  Yep, how far was I going to push this?

The third circuit came and I tried to push on.  The step-ups were the worst and I stopped a few times to let the leg muscles recooperate and the shoulders recover from the strain of holding the weights.  As I stepped onto the treadmill the third time, I knew this was going to be bad.  At the end of the first 90 seconds, nausea set in, the legs turned to rubber and I thought I was going to go down.

I should be looking forward to this, happy that I am alive to carry out such an amazing workout at an amazing gym.  But I wasn’t, I was miserable and letting my busy afternoon and lack of fuel destroy my dream.

The Realization

Then I realized that I had some almonds in my gym bag.  These were my emergency fuel supply for situations like this.  How could I have forgotten?  I ran to the car, grabbed a packet of almonds and slowly started munching a handful…  after a short break, some additional water and a moment of silence I think my body started to recover.

I went back in for the fourth circuit.  Despite feeling better, I was still drained.  The step-ups were the worst ever, the cardio intervals short and slow, and the body was even more ready for a long nap than ever.

Too Little, Too Late: I’m Done

But, wait, there was still a second circuit…  oh boy.  I quickly learned from the deadlifts that my wrists are highly inflexible. The elbows are supposed to point up when the wrists flex holding the bar…  theoretically at least.  Then came the single-leg ball squats where you balance on a spiny little inflated ball and squat on one leg, moving the opposite leg in front and then to the side.  My balance is the worst and after being drained from the previous circuit, it is even worse.

At that point, it was time to cut my loss.  Besides, after an hour and a half, the next group was arriving.  While I hate leaving anything unfinished, this was the right call for me on this particular evening.

The Reflection

Reflecting back on this rather enlightening day, I realize that I sabotaged my workout and that I was heading toward even worse injury.  I need a strategy for making sure I fuel at the right times and am ready for anything.   While the emergency almond supply saved me from total devastation, it was one of those situations that should never have been.

It just sucks that I let my busy afternoon screw a perfectly good workout!

It begs the question, what strategies do you use to make sure you are ready for your workouts?  By ready, I mean that you are fueled, have the equipment/gear you need, and can workout with any thought of “I forgot something?”