Alrighty, let’s work backwards (starting with yesterday) with some workout info, and then I’ll talk about some new fitness decisions I have to make.
Monday’s workout: 3 miles, 28:00 min. exactly (9:09 / 9:24 / 9:25) | 125 reps abs & core.
Sunday: 6 miles on the trail, 1:03:00 (9:08 / 10:33 / 10:51 / 11:17 / 11:38 / 10:11).
Saturday: cardio warmup, 5 min. | Zwow HIIT: 15 min. | abs & core, 12 min.
Thursday: dragged myself through just 2 miles, 17:51 (8:37 / 9:14)
Tuesday: 3 miles, 29:09 (9:06 / 10:01 / 10:02)
Last week I came off three days of walking around NYC and three days of late nights, so the Monday run didn’t happen.
I’ll start by saying that this week, I feel pretty good. The six miles on Sunday went much better than I expected. Slower than I wanted… but the good news is there was very little numbing involved. Some in my left foot by the beginning of mile two, but that was miraculously gone somewhere in miles three. Can not remember the last time I was able to simply run without numbness.
After six miles and a lower–body focused workout on Saturday, I wasn’t planning to run yesterday. I felt great, though! Little sore, but not enough to keep me from three more miles. The energy was there, so I went out after work.
Last week, however, was a different story.
I don’t remember why four miles didn’t happen on Wednesday as scheduled. But I really struggled through just two on Thursday. Both my feet were quite numb, and was starting to spread up my left ankle. I had to stop a couple of times just to shake out my legs and get some blood flowing. That coming off Tuesday’s three miles that weren’t much better.
By Friday, I told Jon that I think I need to stop my 1/2 marathon distance training. Decision number one. I’m really struggling to keep blood flowing for just a few miles. There is no way I can keep tacking on more. I have yet another – and probably the last for this issue – doctor’s appointment next week, and I’m going to get some compression socks or sleeves for my legs. Beyond that, I’m at a loss. And have basically resigned myself to <10 miles unless something drastically changes.
My second decision culminated yesterday when I read Bex Borucki’s blog about doing a “Gym Diet.” Her basic premise?
“Take a freaking break, and stop obsessing over your workout routine!”
I’ve been thinking through the idea of taking longer breaks for several weeks now, and she pushed me to my final decision: I am taking a full week off working out and running every six weeks. So, five weeks work, one week rest. That may change some as I go (four weeks work, one rest, or another combination), but the concept is the same.
Bex made a distinction between working out – the hard workouts or runs we build into our routines to really push us – and exercising, which is more low–key – walks, biking, taking your kids to the park, etc.
“I’m not saying for a second that a clean diet and exercise isn’t crucial to living a healthy life. What I AM saying is that working out isn’t. Working out gets you thin, it gets you strong, it carves out your muscles, and it can make you feel amazing. But exercise is what you need – every day – to be healthy.”
For me, I need the mental break more than anything. I fully identify with her statement that it’s overwhelming “to think about how much time must be spent counting and logging and worrying about whether or not you’ve made some number goal.” It’s good to push hard. It’s good to have solid goals. But I’m craving a break from having to get up early, or making Jon wait for dinner so I can run after work, or have my Saturday morning dictated by a longer run.
Not to mention the physical gains that break gives. Your body has time to fully recover. I feel more rested and energized after a break like this. I’m talking about more than the rest days built into a weekly schedule, but a week of some walks and some yoga days…. and most importantly, no set fitness schedule.
I needed a success. And I need to change some things.
Sunday and Monday’s runs were the positives. After such a discouraging last week, and after basically deciding I can’t build my running distance right now, I really needed something to pull me out of that feeling of failure.
And now planning these week long breaks gives me something to look forward to, something to motivate me to work harder, knowing I have a relaxing week coming. My plan is to finish my September schedule as I have it above, and then rewrite my October plan accordingly. This means my 1/2 marathon schedule, if continued, will likely finish a couple of weeks later than I planned, but oh well. I’ll make the final decision on whether to continue the whole training after my doc appointment next week.
I like my schedules. But I’m also adaptable when I need to be.