Tuesday, February 14, 2012

on resting

It's rest week now.  I'm a little torn about rest week, because on one hand, I have all this free time and should make all those dates I haven't been able to make for the past three weeks because I've been a hamster on a Training Peaks wheel.  But on the other hand, rest week is about letting all my little broken parts heal so they can be stronger for the next three weeks.  So I'm trying to compromise.  Yesterday and today I am treating my body like the little tired solider it is.  Lots of time drinking tea and resting with my legs up and having toast instead of a protein smoothie for breakfast.  I've got plans for later in the week to spend time with some friends, but for the most part I'm going to really try and rest.  To heal.


I came out of this block with some pretty pissed off legs.  I think I've zeroed in on what caused the problem (a hard run in some shoes I wasn't completely adapted to yet, followed six hours later by a not-so-short run).  I got pummeled by the evil steel toothbrushes last week, which got me through the weekend, but now it's time to let the blood cells carry away the angry black monsters of inflammation.  I took a day away from poking things with a sharp stick and today I'll just gently foam roll to get the blood moving.  I'll get Graston'd to death again tomorrow and later in the week I'll try a test run, but right now I feel like the best thing I can do for my body is to be gentle with it and let there be peace.


The wonderful thing about training properly - periodization, the fancy folks call it - is that by the time recovery week rolls around, I'm truly ready for the break.  My workouts are all pretty short and light and I can execute them without a lot of physical or mental effort and then move on with my day.  Last time I didn't start itching for the hurt again until the weekend rolled around, and I feel the same way now.  I'm not bouncy and twitchy and dying to go hammer some bitches.  Watching the "who can go faster" competition roll by on twitter barely interests me.  For such a long time, my training was going all hard all the time, and I never properly rested, and while I made progress, there was no master plan.  There was no thought into a bigger picture of any sort.  Instead I just got caught up in what everyone else was doing, and that's definitely what is not best for me.  Sure, there have been times in the past few weeks where I've been really lonely in training, and where I've tried to schedule workouts with friends to get out of that funk, where I've tried to move my life around to make it so I don't have to spend another three hours in my head.  And when I've subsequently been blown off, it does piss me off, it does hurt my delicate little pink feelings, and it definitely makes me appreciate the people who will join me for a run here, or a swim there.  But I believe in what I'm doing, I believe that the path I'm on is a good one, and if I have to travel it alone, then those are the sacrifices I am choosing to make.


So if you're looking for me this week, I won't be on the bike.  I won't be in the pool and I definitely won't be out stomping around outside in my running shoes.  I'll be on the couch with my legs up.  I'll be cooking good strong muscle-building dinners and going to bed at 8pm.  I'll be showering in my own bathroom instead of at the gym for the sixth time in five days.  I'll be having a quiet date with my number one fan, the one who never lets me down but instead is unfailingly supportive of the crazy life I have chosen.  But most importantly, I'll be trying really hard to let go of all the noise that wants to surround me and suck me under.  There is a lot of it, right now, and it is pretty noisy noise, and what I need is not to fight against it, but instead to let it roll right by me, let it roll off me and away while I sit in the peaceful place I am trying to create for myself.  It's right here, it's the mental work I need to do while my physical parts rest, it's the other kind of toughness I need to be building.  

21 comments:

  1. amen! use those rest weeks to do whatever you need to get ready to do it all over again.

    i loved rest weeks. by the time they rolled around i was more than ready for them.

    ps i miss you!

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  2. Nothing makes me appreciate my shower more than NOT showering at the gym. My goodness.

    It sounds like this rest week is coming at an excellent time. Legs up the wall with puppies for you!

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  4. This is a really awesome post. It actually inspires me to want to rest, because I've been feeling a bit in a funk lately. There's always that little part inside of me that says it's not okay. But it is.

    And now on a very serious note: SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS OR ELSE I'LL GIVE YOUR FREE STUFF AWAY. The end.

    Enjoy your rest & happy heart day. :)

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  5. Good move. And no question--taking downtime is as hard mentally as physically. Appreciate it, enjoy it, and next week you'll be ready to tear it up again.

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  6. I'd train with you and I'd never blow you off. :)
    Enjoy your rest week and be good to yourself.

    Love this line:
    I'm not bouncy and twitchy and dying to go hammer some bitches-
    that's awesome. But that's how I feel all the time lol

    random stuff:
    my favorite line out of a music mix for my bootcamp class I teach. made me crack up laughing. Hope if makes you smile and feel rested!

    And now I ain’t too pretty
    To slap a hoe
    So all you girls actin’ shitty
    Better hit the back door
    ~DEV BootyBounce

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  7. The calm in this post makes me so happy. I'm excited to see you tomorrow!

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  8. I am in a recovery week myself and you are correct: It couldn't have come at a better time.

    I am also getting a pretty upset leg. Yesterday I went for a massage and tomorrow I go for ART. This thing needs to heal and heal now.

    Enjoy the legs up, toast in the AM and muscle building dinner week.

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  9. I love the strength that resides in your calm. Enjoy the rest, heal well, and keep up with the peacefulness!

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  10. Amen to what Becca said! Love how at peace you are with this!

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  11. I love this post so much. Enjoy your rest!

    And you should include a post about those muscle-building dinners :)

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  12. I'm thinking of just removing the shower from our house and turning it into bike storage. The space would get more use that way.

    Enjoy your rest week and your date with the Poet!

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  13. You deserve it and you need it. Hope you are able to relax and enjoy!

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  14. I hope the rest makes your legs happy again. Enjoy the break!

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  15. Sounds like you are in a good mental place to take it easy for a week (and it sounds like your body is ready for that too!)

    If you ever need a recovery run and can do it during the day, I'll schedule a tempo and run with you. ;o)

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  16. Enjoy your quiet week! I hope your legs come out of it feeling great.

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  17. I love this post! I think recovery weeks are awesome. Since we're both competitive, I know it's hard for us to shut off our brains when we see what seems like every other blogger and Twitter friend getting in awesome workouts, but really we have to remind ourselves that rest makes us stronger!!! Enjoy the week - and then you can return to hammering bitches as an even stronger athlete! ;)

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  18. The mental muscle is the hardest to develop, especially for those of us who specialize in hammering bitches. But in the moments when you find that beautiful inner peace, man, does it feel good! Keep up the good work!

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  19. Great post on the emotional aspects of training hard and recovering hard! And just so you know, you are not "alone"...many of us are doing the same thing you are, so let's do it "together!"

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