Monday, August 19, 2019

Embracing That Post-Weekend "Tired"

Recently, rest days have become essential in my weekly schedule. Even though I'm not training for anything at the moment, there are so many places I want to run, so many classes I want to take, and so many tracks I want to race on. If there was no rest day thrown in, I would be unintentionally overtraining, making mistakes and constantly dreaming of a nap. Due to the usually hectic pace of my recent weekend workouts, Monday has become the rest day of choice. This weekend, Saturday included a 7:30 a.m. spinning class, followed by a 4:00 p.m. BMX practice with a race after, then on Sunday I woke up at 6:00 for a 7:00 a.m. group 12 mile (for me) long run with a local running shop in Westport. 

Rollin' that table like...
Sunday morning 12 miles done! By the time I left my mind was on some pancakes. Yum. Pancakes. 
The time we have to train is valuable, and I pushed myself 100% all weekend, including a much stronger and faster long run, so by the time I was done on Sunday I was DONE. DUNZO. FINITO. I picked up some well earned hotcakes and an egg McMuffin, took a long Epsom salt bath, tried unsuccessfully to take a nap, and ran around town a bit with my boyfriend, all the while feeling happy but tired. Have you ever experienced the kind of tired where you're SO pumped up and excited you can't sleep, but your eyes feel like they've been through the ringer? That was the kind of tired I felt on Sunday, and for the most part, I actually like it. 

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I learned a long time ago to embrace the tired, I look at it as the sign of a successful few days of training. To me, tired is similar to that slight ache you feel after a long run. Not a "you hurt yourself and something's wrong" ache, but the type of muscle ache that tells you that you will be stronger in the days after it goes away. I don't mean to say that constantly running yourself to the point of complete and utter exhaustion is close to being the best plan or an overall indicator of a successful workout, but when it's there after all my hard work, I don't actually mind it. It's not good to be tired all the time, and that's where those much needed rest days come in. 

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After my group run, I stayed around to chat with some of the more experienced runners, and when the topic of recovery came up I was surprised to hear that Epsom salt baths were taken an preferred over ice baths for achy muscles. I have yet to try an ice bath, but I think I'm getting close to it if there are any more long hilly miles next weekend (which is pretty much a given). I also heard that you sleep REALLY well after one, so there's that. So here we all are on Monday, we made it through the weekend, so let's take a moment to appreciate that, embrace our "tired", recover, and do it all again soon! 

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