This week my mind and body are holding a protest. It’s week 3 of 50K training and they are not happy.
It’s to be expected. I haven’t worked out this hard since . . . well, ever. Even training for Boston I didn’t do any core, strength, yoga, or track work. I focused on hills, tempo runs, and mileage only.
Monday was my rest day. I take my rest days seriously and did nothing athletic the entire day, not even yoga. I really do feel strongly that I need at least one full day off to give my body a chance to rest and regenerate.
I’ve always read that rest days are necessary to allow the muscles, tendons, and ligaments to repair themselves, and therefore get stronger. I’ve seen many running friends get injured because they pushed too hard with the mileage and didn’t take enough days off.
I was grumpy all day on my rest day and felt tired, even though I got plenty of sleep the night before.
Part of this could be an adjustment to getting up much earlier to beat the Texas heat, and not going to bed as early as I should–meaning, I’m simply not getting enough sleep.
I felt antsy all day, like I should be running or working out. I slept poorly that night, and dragged through the track, core/strength, and yoga workouts. I felt sluggish all morning. I finally ate something small, then did something I rarely do.
I took a nap.
Miraculous! I rested only 45 minutes and felt one thousand times better afterwards. I’ve always struggled with taking a nap during the day (believe me, I wish it was otherwise). I felt so refreshed, even though I don’t think I slept at all.
I have to remind myself that I’m working out harder than I ever have. My training this past year has been wildly inconsistent, so I’m determined to stay focused and stick to my training plan.
All of this makes me thankful that I’m following a 20 week training plan. By doing so I’m giving myself enough time to work off of the base I’ve already built up, and ramp up comfortably to the much higher mileage.
I know it will take a while for my body to catch up with the new demands I’m placing on it. And in order to make that happen, I’ll need a lot of rest.
The mind and body may protest now, but by October 20th I expect to be in my best shape ever–and ready to kick some serious trail dirt in Palo Duro Canyon.