Training for the marathon when I was born a sprinter??
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Does anyone else here struggle with doing too much? If you do, I'd really like your tips on how you honestly evaluate which days it is in your best interest to do less?
For myself, I don't like feeling weak and in my journey I've discovered that any day I feel a little under the weather, a little overused or just really exhausted and weak is usually the day I will push the heck out of myself to do more. Twisted, I know, but I do.
Today is one of those days. I woke up feeling worse than when I went to bed. The fatigue and exhaustion are so deep it echoes as a full body ache. So I learn to take it slow, but there's still responsibilities to be done; I have a script to memorize, choreography to master, music to arrange and all my own healthy and creative goals. Plus errands, calls and emails to answer-- any of this sounding familiar? :)
I also know that cardio will usually overwhelm the fatigue and give me a boost of happy and a bit of energy. I know that at rehearsal tonight, the likelihood is that work and the energy of everyone else will overwhelm this ache and even with diligence, I'll get caught up in it and give it my all. And a little more. Which means tomorrow morning will mostly likely feel worse. Unless I'm really really careful and pay more attention to my body and how I'm feeling-- which is a skill I'm still working on slowly, I'll admit.
This of course is dependent upon me getting to rehearsal. Which honestly, all day, I've been wondering how. I could use extra coffee, or sing, or do extra cardio, those would all get me up and overcome this fatigue, yet they all come at a cost. I have just so many energy and attention coins to spend on any given day, and today I have less than usual, so I need to be very careful how and where I spend them. I need to spend enough to feel well enough to get to rehearsal, but not spend so many I collapse mid-way through. (Yes, this has happened, though only that dramatically a long, long time ago, now it's more a crash in slow motion).
The bike felt like a massive effort, even a short session of 25 minutes was like lifting furniture in heavy gravity. Instead of energizing me, it just gave me enough to almost feel human. An hour later it's effects are already wearing off. But I'm not sick, this is just how it's been a lot lately. The Doctor's are running tests and they have ideas, but nothing conclusive and what it boils down to is I need to learn how to manage myself, my energy and my activities and learn to be honest about when it's time to rest. And then doing it. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.
So, how do you do it? How do you look inward and evaluate honestly that 'yes, this is a day I need to rest more than work, possibly even skip cardio?" Or how do you know when to stop in cardio, so that you quit before you've gone a little too far? Can you tell when your body is getting too tired, had a little too much, or do you, like myself, try to feel it but somehow mostly miss the cues until you are french kissing that proverbial wall?
How do we learn to choose the healthiest activities for the marathon and not the sprint? I never knew it about myself, but I guess I'm a sprinter. I like to charge forward with all I've got, run myself right into that wall, and the pick up, recover as quick as possible and go find the next race. That's a lot of fun, but it's not going to get me through the cross country run I'm building for myself in my career. I need to think long-term, and train my body accordingly so that I do it healthy and true to loving myself. Even when that means loving my weakness and limitations. Wow, that's probably going to be one I'm still working on right up until they put me in that grave. :)
Of course, all you life marathoner's out there, I'd love to hear your ideas for the long-term training, what works for you, how you think about things, all that. I've got to learn and you've got experience. Please post in my comments your dialogue. Thanks in advance and as always, thank you for reading me.
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