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.