Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rest day: Good for the mind, good for the body

(I randomly changed the name of my blog - we'll see if it sticks!)
I am enjoying my last Sunday of somewhat sustained calm for the next few weeks or months as a new semester gets underway tomorrow and I pick up another class to teach.  While January is not yet over, I am mentally lumping the last two days in with February, which looks to be a pretty crazed month.  That will be in stark contrast to the past few weeks which have given me ample time to nap, eat and drink well, play a lot, and train pretty hard.
On that last note, I must acknowledge that I went from minimal tri training (zero) to over-training.  Perhaps it connects to being a forty-something-female and the sense that I need to do as much as possible soon now at once!?  But I suspect that it has more to do with the fact that I would like to actually RACE, for me, the Wildflower Tri this year, rather than be content to merely finish it.  Since the past two weeks presented me with tons of free time, I decided to fill too much of that time with training hours.  Today, since my body pretty much rebelled on me yesterday after a 2-hour hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, I am taking a very unscheduled day OFF which was supposed to happen on Tuesday.  I had planned to spend part of the morning in the saddle, actually meeting up with a group (gasp!) for a training ride.  The decision to cancel the ride had nothing to do with my fears of meeting random people and looking/feeling inept and had everything to do with the fact that my body felt exhausted, especially my left leg (IT band and shin issues suddenly coming into play).
And so, I made a strategic choice:  Take the day off to focus on resting and on preparing for school tomorrow.  I love that I have to "focus" on resting!
Sometimes, however, I find that it is more challenging to just stop and take a break.  In my ideal world, I would happily (and healthily) balance the demands of work, grade everything my students hand in within 24 hours, while also training something like 2 hours a day.  To add to that, I would eat well and sleep 8 hours every day.  Or, if I couldn't sleep 8 hours, then I could function well on 6 hours of sleep a night.  Oh, and I would have a great relationship with friends, colleagues, students and, obviously, spend quality time with my dogs and husband (does anyone else kind of hate the word "husband"?).  I can live with a certain amount of chaos in my life and don't get too hung up on the idea of a perfect equilibrium in my life, but I've also come to accept that the idea 2+ daily hours of swim/bike/run at this point is completely unrealistic given my life and priorities and physical limitations, like a terrible knee and general joint issues.
On that note, I've had to recognize the obvious:  I am a training wimp.
So, on that note, I'm giving my legs a major break today with lots of time on the sofa as I watch the X-Games (Shaun White is a beast!), lament Nadal's defeat in the Australian Open, and prepare for classes and meetings next week!


kilax said...

If you were that sore, you NEED a rest day! It is mentally challenging to take one though. I struggle with that too.

If I was a teacher I would constantly be stressing about grading papers. I don't deal well with having a lot of unfinished things on my plate. How do you deal with that?

And I don't think you are a training wimp. Come one. We all just have a lot to do, like you said!

Ameena said...

I was so inspired by this post that i decided NOT to go to the gym today. My knee is killing me and in general I just don't feel so good. So reading this was perfect timing.

And I agree with kilax...we have so much to do that training is not exactly a priority. You are amazing anyway!

Kalli said...

super smart to listen to your body. i find with the demands of our jobs if we do not we weill crash and burn. hope your semester 2 is off to a great start!

Kristina said...

Yeah, I definitely did! Ugh - I always have unfinished stuff. It's crazy and chaotic, but I can, apparently, tolerate lots of papers. And there is an ebb flow - or flood and not flood.

Sorry that you aren't feeling well! I definitely don't do much when I'm not feeling well (except work...). It's just not worth it!

Yay for second semester! I think of the year kind of like a half-marathon. You really can't slow down too much, but it isn't a sprint. Hope school is going well for you too.

Katie said...

oh man, IT band stuff is the WORST! hope yours stays calm!

eatingRD said...

Rest days are very important, I enjoy them and am having one today after riding 85 miles this weekend whew. It is tough to balance it all. Good luck on all your training and cycling!! You'll be great! :)