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Taking A Step Back

by Courtney on April 13, 2012

Alright. I think I’m finally starting to make a little headway on the exercise front.


I know I’ve mentioned it a few times this week, but my asthma has seriously been hindering my workouts this week. No matter how much I stay on top of taking my inhalers, the lovely spring air is really doing a number on me.

At the beginning of the week, and even late last week, I did my best to try and just ignore it. I assumed it was a little flare-up and would quickly pass, so I continued to try and push myself through strenuous, high intensity cardio workouts when my lungs just were not ready.

I took yesterday completely off from exercise – partly because I was exhausted…but mostly because I was frustrated. I’m glad I took yesterday off though, because not only did it give me a little more motivation to get back to it today, but it also allowed me to take a step back and really pay attention to what my body can handle right now.

My bootcamp workout called for 20 minutes of HIIT, but I knew that wouldn’t be in my best interest. Instead, I completed some steady intervals with 3 minutes at 6.6mph and 1 minute at 4.5mph. I was able to make it through all 25 minutes with minor wheezing and chest tightness, which was awesome, and I followed it up with a great strength “pull workout.”

Sure, it’s been super frustrating dealing with the asthma lately, but it has also served as a great reminder about the importance of really listening to our bodies. There are times when we need to take a step back. Don’t feel bad about that. If you can’t go at your max for a certain amount of time, it’s okay…you’ll get back there again.

Just do what you can, put in some serious effort, and finish knowing that you gave it your all.



Once I finished up with my morning clients and my own workout this morning, it was time to head home for breakfast. I don’t know what it was, but I was ravenous today!


Delicious coffee, plus a batch of oatmeal. I used the same base as Tuesday, but replaced the strawberries with some dried cherries that I still have on hand from my NatureBox, and topped it with a generous helping of homemade honey cinnamon PB.


Today’s oats were nice and fluffy, just how I like ‘em, but I thought they were looking a little blah…


Ahhh, that’s better.

Nothin’ a little Love Grown granola can’t fix. Winking smile


Time to shower and attempt some productivity for the afternoon!

Question for the Morning:

When was the last time you had to take a step back from going your hardest at something? How did you feel and how did you deal?

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo April 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

You defintely did the right thing by scaling back your workout, so way to go on listening to your body :)! Sometimes I have to lift weights lighter than my normal because I’m too sore but that’s ok by me- at least I’m doing my current best!
Khushboo recently posted..Hey it’s OK…


2 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries April 13, 2012 at 9:46 am

GREAT post courtney! within the past few weeks i’ve had to take a step back with my exercise big time. i’m trying to get my cycle back and my hormones balanced again. needless to say, it’s been rough! however, i know it’s been good for me and my body.
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..My Personality


3 Elisabeth April 13, 2012 at 9:50 am

I’ve had to take a HUGE step back recently and really listen to my body and follow my doctor’s advice, even when I feel fine. It was very frustrating and hard for me to do, especially because the event that triggered all of this was a very upsetting and unpleasant one. But now it is all behind me and I can’t wait to get back to the gym and resume life in general.


4 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

I’m glad that whatever it was is behind you now and you can move forward! :)


5 Lindsey April 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

Right now I am taking a step back from running. After two year of training for half or full marathons my body needs the break. But it is hard not to go for that run when the sun is out, or if I do, go for a shorter/slower run. I am dealing my keeping busy doing other things and having active days that are not necessarily running or working out.
Lindsey recently posted..Foodie Friday


6 Cat @ Breakfast to Bed April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

effing allergies and asthma. They stink.

feel better.
Cat @ Breakfast to Bed recently posted..Do Badgers Eat Olives?


7 Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

The pollen right now HAS to be insane, because I don’t normally feel any effects from allergies if it’s isn’t crazy-high. I’m sorry you’re having troubles, but it’s good you know yourself enough to dial it back when necessary! I took a hiatus from running for the past month because things were just out of control for a lot of reasons and now I really miss it and cannot wait to get back into it. Sometimes a break is all you need! :)
Krissie J @ A Philly Nerd Girl recently posted..Go With the Flow


8 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

Amen to that! :)


9 Brittany @ Delights and Delectables April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

Loved this Courtney! Too many of us don’t listen to our bodies when we need to slow down. I hope your breathing gets easier soon!
Brittany @ Delights and Delectables recently posted..When Luvy Is Out…


10 Lilly April 13, 2012 at 10:08 am

Sorry to hear your asthma/allergies have been bad! My bf has it really bad too…. BUT – we invested in a good air purifier for the bedroom about a year back and it has made such a difference! Literally, we go to sleep feeling bad, and wake up refreshed and allergy free (most of the time) – whereas, he would wake up sick and crazy allergies before we got the air purifier. It also really helps when you are sick to get better faster. You can get a decent one for about $100. Seriously – life changing for us. Just something to consider – hope it helps!


11 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

Yes! We actually have TWO, which we keep in our living room because of the cat. We keep our bedroom door closed off from him all the time, but wanted the air purifier for the rest of the house. They definitely do work great, I agree!


12 Linda April 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

When I found out you had asthma I was blown away because you work HARD!

As you know I have been hit with some challenges of late and I took a step back and handled things the good old Marine Corps way – Improvise, Adapt, Overcome and I was so glad I did.

I came back in a different way and turned out to be stronger than I had realized.

And you already know this – but I just have to shout it again – I swam a mile this morning. This was the result of stepping back.

Remember, even the mighty tiger steps back before he leaps from the trees. ;)


13 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

Way to rock that mile long swim this morning!


14 Yellow Haired Girl April 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

Way to listen to your body! I had a similar situation recently … I thought I was recovered from a sinus cold I had been suffering – turns out I wasn’t. I couldn’t exercise to the same level I usually do, and it was super frustrating. But I had to deal with it! If I would have continued to push myself, I’m sure I would have compromised getting better quickly. So I let myself rest, and now I’m better than ever :) Enjoy your Friday (the 13th!)
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..Onion Breath


15 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health April 13, 2012 at 10:16 am

So sorry that you asthma is flaring up!! I think I need to take a step back right now. I think I’ve been pushing myself too hard at the gym and my body is feeling a little worn down. I guess it’s hard to see other bloggers being so intense and doing these crazy challenging things and wondering why I can’t do that too haha. Gotta remember that everyone is different!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Fitness Loves of the Week #11


16 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

Lindsay, that’s SO true. Some days, I’ll read other posts from people who completed workout “X, Y, and Z” and I’m like, good lord, I really need to step up my game!
But then I remember…I only need to worry about ME. It’s certainly a challenge not to compare ourselves to others, but we all essentially know what is right for us :)


17 Shannon April 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

On Wednesday, I was still in Maine, completing my Freihofer’s training workouts (don’t think I’m doing the run for women this year but I’m trying to stay fit) and it came time for the 3 minutes of jogging/3 minutes of walking repetition. I knew I could not jog through Ogunquit and the Marginal Way without dying in 3 minutes’ time. My neck also hurt from doing the 90 second walking/jogging repetition. I decided to walk the rest of the way back to Perkins Cove, and then went out to eat at Mike’s Clam Shack. :)
Shannon recently posted..Happy Easter!


18 Courtney April 13, 2012 at 10:32 am

Good job on the training workout, Shannon! Even if you don’t run the race, that’s still great that you’re trying to stay fit! :)


19 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 13, 2012 at 10:17 am

When I had shin splints a couple of months ago, I had to cut way back on running … which was frustrating, because I was trying to prepare for a half-marathon. But in the end, it was completely worth it, because I didn’t end up having any long-term injuries!!
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..The perfect springtime dessert.


20 Carolyn April 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

All that I can say is that the one time that I didn’t listen to my body I regretted it. In fact, I still do so very very smart move. It may be hard to take a step back in the short term but if you don’t… it will likely be harder to take that longer term step back.
Carolyn recently posted..It’s Friday the 13th


21 Janae Wise April 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

I’ve been dealing with the same thing this week. I’ve had a bad cold, nothing serious, but enough that whenever I exercise my body tells me to “stop it!” So, my exercise has not been intense (I still have to teach classes, but I’ve taken it really easy, and done more coaching rather than instruction).

I think it’s good to have periodic breaks. It gives the mind and body a needed rest, so when you return, you’re ready for the intensity.
Janae Wise recently posted..2 Giveways: Pink Lining Goodies!


22 Natasha April 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

it’s great that you’re listening to your body! A lot of people I know would rather just push through the pain, which is often a bad idea :)
Natasha recently posted..Ouch!


23 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

I understand about asthma, I have had it all my life. However since I started exercising my asthma has diminished, finally! Just take it easy. My doctor told me the best thing to do when my asthma started to act up was to go to the mall! Yup the mall! He said the air conditioning in there was helpful. He said to grab a drink a magazine and just chill!

Hope you feel better!

Have a great weekend!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Mexican Black Bean Frittata


24 Jacqui @Miss Nutritionista April 13, 2012 at 11:38 am

I read this post this morning and then just saw this article about diet and asthma and thought you might find it interesting:

I’ve definitely noticed my allergies have been worse recently, so I can imagine what a pain your asthma must be. Good luck with it!
Jacqui @Miss Nutritionista recently posted..First Reflections and a New Plan


25 Jodi April 13, 2012 at 11:47 am

I couldn’t imagine dealing with asthma and working out, I know I would be frustrated, but you need to listen to your body for sure. I have THE HARDEST time when I’m sick or injured and have to rest and not be active, it kills me.
Jodi recently posted..Austria pt. 1


26 Alysia @ Slim Sanity April 13, 2012 at 11:58 am

It is always a good thing to remember. Don’t want to set yourself back farther! Even if it’s hard to do
Alysia @ Slim Sanity recently posted..freaky friday


27 Kim @ The Family Practice April 13, 2012 at 12:01 pm

That is how I have been feeling this week too – not asthma for me, but allergies and it has really effected my workouts. I actually talked about this very same thing in this mornings post – just “meeting yourself where you are”
Kim @ The Family Practice recently posted..Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie + Balancing Act


28 Andrea @ The Fashionable Mom April 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Listening to your body is the best thing you can do! I have seasonal allergies and now how sometimes it affects my workouts and can only imagine what your asthma does.
Andrea @ The Fashionable Mom recently posted..Payless Shoes Coupon and BOGO Sale Right Now


29 Leah @ April 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

You poor girl with your asthma! Doctors used to say I had asthma, but then decided that’s not really what it was. I’m still not sure what my problem is, but running is ALWAYS hard for me… You are probably feeling like I do on a daily basis :( Hang in there!
Leah @ recently posted..Very Veggie Pasta


30 Cassie D. April 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Props to you for listening to your body! Sometimes it’s hard to take a break, especially when you know what you’re normally capable of. I’ve had to take it easy lately after some chronic back problems kept me from working out completely for quite some time. Once I felt better, I was so eager to go hard-core, but that just made my injury flair up! I also think it’s difficult when you’re in a group fitness class and you try to keep up with others, even when it’s in your best interest to scale back.


31 Heather @ Better With Veggies April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Earlier this week i had some breathing issues (pollen) on my trail run, so I did 3.25 instead of 6. I decided it’s better to be positive and do what you can, rather than beat yourself up! :)
Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..High West Distillery & Saloon {Review}


32 Amanda @RunToTheFinish April 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

So technically I’ve never had any asthama issues, but this year with the high ragweed and pollen I have started having major trouble breathing which is very annoying!!

dealing with my own healthy issues lately I had to DNS a marathon and it was frustrating, but has absolutely given me a chance to focus on other things
Amanda @RunToTheFinish recently posted..12 Places to Run Before You Die


33 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake April 13, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Just last week I was sick & took quite a few days off from the gym. A lot of times people encourage “pushing through,” but sometimes that’s definitely not best!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..WIAW – Week 8


34 Lisa April 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Great job at realizing you need to step back. This coming week my goal is to ease up on my exercise and increase my calories. Its been something I’ve needed to do for a long time, but am just starting now.


35 Emily April 13, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I too am a Personal Trainer, so I am with you in that it is VERY hard for me to take a step back when it comes to my exercise routine. I am currently 5 months pregnant with baby #2, and that means that most days I am bombarded by extreme fatigue, tummy issues, and/or nausea. I’m learning to be okay with keeping my workouts more moderate, but lemme tell ya…I cannot wait to get back to my burpees and sprints and jump lunges!!

You are definitely doing the right thing in listening to your body and stepping back when needed. If you don’t, you’ll end up crashing harder and then taking longer to recover. I am happy to hear you’re learning this now, before you have little ones, cause I didn’t learn allow myself a break until now.


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