Last night I set 4 alarms on my phone: 5:09 (for a 90minute ride), 5:39 ( for a 60 minute ride), 6:39 (skip ride & do core work) and 7:09 ( to hell with it all!).
I woke up at 6:19 and decided to hell with it all! As I was taking my first sip of coffee, I realized that I could have squeezed in a 35 minute ride on my trainer before waking up the kids. It would have been a good calorie burn, at the least.
Truth be told, today is a “Rest Day”, but with the day off from work, I still wanted to sneak in a little cardio! The problem is that at some point, during training for different endurance events, any work out less than an hour became “not enough” in my mind. “Why get all dressed to run 3 miles when I can run 8?” “45 minutes on the bike? No, I should do at least 90 minutes!”. I know many other endurance athletes struggle with this mentality.
Unfortunately, for me, it did not end well last Fall. I signed up and competed in far too many races last season. “More is better, right?” I saw it coming, but once I commit, I have a hard time not following through, even when it is not in my best interest. By mid September 2013, I found myself burned out, injured, and depressed. I had done so many things in the Summer of 2013, but none of them well. When, I say ” well”, I mean the Best that I can do for me, not collecting medals on a podium.
I ended up taking a much needed break from everything. I pulled out of a Marathon that a friend and I had planned on running together in November. Thankfully, she was completely understanding. I think she knew all along that I had been slowly burning myself out, as she wasn’t surprised when I called her to tell her I was cancelling running in Philly.
I ended up not running or really doing anything for 10 weeks, it was a busy time despite my fitness boycott. The kids had started back to school and their various extracurricular activities. I had started training at a new job. At one point, I thought my distance running/triathlon events had come to a close, as I did not miss it at all. However, once my body was healed and my mind was rested, I found myself craving my beloved exercise, especially running.
I started running short distances again in December and headed back to the pool & started cycling at the start of the New Year. I decided to plan 2 or 3 things to focus on doing this year. Events spread apart so that I can enjoy them and Recover from them. Right now, my first goal is a Marathon in early May. I am looking forward to it, I truly love running long distances. I have slowly worked my way back up to running long. Currently, I am feeling good and injury free!
Despite my alarm setting craziness today, I am proud that I let go of it. It was a good Rest Day for me. I think I am finally learning to tame the “Endurance Junkie” and enjoy my down time.
Are you an endurance junkie or do you know & love one? How do you handle down time…love it or hate it? What do you do in the off season?
*This Post was originally written in March of 2014 and is being republished…in full disclosure: I am still an Endurance Junkie 🙂