Working and Training

23 Mar

Though we may try to avoid telling people on the trail, the fact is that Emily and I are both nurses.  We currently work in a Trauma ICU at a Level One Trauma center, which basically means the sickest of the sick.  Most nights are spent on our feet anywhere from 8-12 hours of our 12 hour shifts.  When I first started training, my friend Molly told me I would be ahead of the game since so much of what we are working towards is time on our legs.  I don’t think it really hit me what that meant until the past few weeks.  We have been training 6-7 days a week and I work 3 12-hour night shifts a week.  That math means there is no avoiding working out before and after intense shifts.  Critical care nursing isn’t just physically exhausting (e.g. turning 600lb patients), it is incredibly mentally exhausting.  We use a lot of critical thinking, are constantly doing calculations in our heads, and are titrating and bolusing life saving (and potentially fatal) medications.  You can’t really let down your guard or relax while at work.  All of this tends to add up to tired, sad-sack koalas and pandas at the end of the day.

Which brings me back to the training part. Even after working several nights in a row I still have to get up and knock out a workout before heading back to the hospital.  This week has been a perfect example of that.  I worked the last two nights with incredibly busy patients, running around 12 hours a night and crashing hard at 8am.  There was very little sitting and even less eating or drinking during my shifts.  So today when I woke up at 4pm, exhausted and dehydrated, I was not in top form.  Plus I was facing our toughest workout of the week – 7 x 4min tempo runs with sets of burpees, lunges, squats, planks, sit ups, mountain climbers and push ups interspersed.  With warm up and cool down it is an intense hour of cardiovascular pain.  Luckily I had my training partner there to drag my ass out the door and to the trail to get it done.  It was a brutal hour, but I ran the tempos as fast as I could and rocked out the strength.

As I showered up and put my scrubs back on for another night I felt really proud of what we are doing.  These days when we really push ourselves are what will help us for those 20+ mile trail days.  I can’t imagine my legs being more tired than they are today, but I know they will be.  I also know that the time and effort I am putting in now will get me to the trailhead in the best shape I can be, both physically and mentally tough.


2 Responses to “Working and Training”

  1. Hyena March 24, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Is that a ninja pose with coffee?

  2. Jim Wentzel March 31, 2012 at 3:52 am #

    You’re the best
    Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
    You’re the Best
    Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
    You’re the Best
    Nothing’s gonna ever keep you dow-ow-ow-ow-own

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