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My alarm didn’t go off Friday morning.
And unlike other mornings, where my alarm DID go off, but in a sleepy daze I decided that the comfort of my bed far outweighed the looming workout, turned the alarm off , then later tried to play it off as “oh yeah, my alarm didn’t go off …or something”…Friday morning, the alarm really did NOT go off. That’s what I get for relying on my cell phone that doesn’t ring half of the time. My bad (yours too Android). Back to old reliable alarm clock from the 90’s.
Point being, when I woke up, about 2.5 hours after the start of open water swim practice, I was PISSED. I’ve been on a roll this week. I am a girl with a plan. And Friday morning, the plan fell through.
Theennnnn I stood up. My body screamed at me. Most notably my shoulders (shoulda stayed in aero a little more, that bike is NOT meant to NOT ride aero for very long) and the back of my knees, which had *slight* swelling to the touch. I’m talking, so little swelling that no one else would probably notice, but I know the back of my knees like the back of my…knees. Muscle soreness? I push through. Tired? What mom isn’t. Sore butt from yesterdays ride? Suck it up. But my runner instinct and that part of my brain filled with $50K worth of education in this subject (yes, my student loans say you CAN put a price tag on knowledge!) start to sound the alarm when sore joints are present.
You work in funny, mysterious ways little Droid. Perhaps a rest day was necessary.
So I rested, much to the dismay of my new internal “I want this 70.3, BAD” drive screaming at me that I was wasting time. The rational part of my brain (it’s in there somewhere) knew rest was good. But I anxiously prepped for the long-ish run the next morning. Hydrate. Carbs. It was going to be good.
The next morning I was ready to rock. But much to my dismay, I only made it 4 miles before the knees started hurting again. And here is where the internal debate started back up.
70.3 brain (you know, the one that constantly has background soundtrack of Eminem rapping motivational four letter words as I picture myself in this video being totally bad-a$$) : Oh come on, that’s discomfort, not pain. Suck it up. 70.3 is a long effing race, you need every training mile you can bank right now.
70.3: You’ll never get stronger if you don’t push yourself. Strong athletes overcome adversity. Pain is weakness leaving the body. And everything else ever said on all of those motivational posters you’ve seen.
Mom: We have plenty of time to ease into this, but not enough time to waste on injuries! Don’t. Be. STUPID.
The mom brain won ( I think she gave the 70.3 brain “the look”) , and I cut my long run very short.
The irony here is so obvious it’s laughable. Just a few posts back, I was struggling to find the motivation. Today, I’m struggling to make myself sit still. Which brings me to the topic at hand:
I’m not talking balancing family, kids, work, spouse, house, and training.
I’m talking about smart training. I’ve spent so much time this summer feeling completely unmotivated, lazy, and just generally not in a good place. I snapped out of it, and I feel fantastic. Call me crazy but I don’t feel “right” unless I have some serious, daily physical activity. Except…now I’m struggling to NOT over do it. Physically and emotionally. Mental burnout is just as dangerous as a nasty case of ITB syndrome. I’d prefer to avoid both, but don’t want to lose this wave of training mojo I’m riding right now. I do NOT want to go back to that somewhat dark place I was for the last few months.
Balance. Just another life lesson brought to you by endurance sports! My knees will be fine. I just jumped back in to training head first and too hard. A little more rest and ice and back to work I’ll go, but it’s hard not to feel slightly frustrated.
What do you do to keep your training on an even keel? Regardless of what the training plan says, do you know when to say when and back off , or when to step up and push to the next level.