Break Before Breaking
I thought I would want to resume running this morning. When the alarm went off at 5 am, I contemplated staying in bed. Once I was awake and caffeinated, it was clear that I confused wanting with hoping. I decided that hoping was not a great mental state to resume training and instead I walked the dog and sat in the hot tub.
I have been surprised by how I feel after my first long ultra; ongoing days of nausea, inability to sleep and a post-race cold. I found myself exhausted and waking up at midnight to eat a bowl of cereal in my glycogen depleted state.
I took the advice of quite a few ultrarunners and committed to one day off for every 10 miles raced (rounding up) equaling seven days off. It took 5-6 days for the deep muscular pain to pass.
I realized in the week off that it has been quite a long time since I have taken a break from training. I needed training the last 19 months to make sense of my life during the trauma of Ann’s dying and death. Not taking a break can lead to physical breaking or emotional burnout. By taking a break before breaking, I can continue to focus on my journey of lifetime health and physical activity when I resume my training.
Today, I will walk a bit and release myself from the burden I feel for training while trusting that the excitement will return.
My athletic identity for ten plus years has been triathlon. I still love the sport but I have been excited about my ultrarunning performances. However, to excel in each sport can impede the other sport. When triathlon focused, too much running hurts my cycling. When ultrarunning focused, anything but running hurts my run performance.
I know now is not the time for decisions. I plan on this week continuing to rest and recover with anything but swim, bike and run. Plans include trying pickleball, rowing, etc. In the meantime, I am laying out a race calendar for next year that includes everything. KT and Marilyn will help me distill it down to what matters.
All will be known in due time.
Even when resting and recovering, there is no easy way.