Sometimes, everything you need is right in front of you, you are just too blind to notice. At least that is how I felt this week. As I mentioned in my previous post, I pretty much cleared my training plan. I was shooting for less time training and more time “braining.” (Cute, right?) Anyway, this week was the first week of my nearly blank training plan. Monday, I focused on studying. I felt a little naughty in not having done anything physical, but hey I needed to study. Unfortunately, nothing was sticking. I went over the under-active and overactive muscles a thousand times but could maybe list a handful. I scheduled a run for Tuesday morning, which went fine. Wednesday was “rest” day which is currently code for more studying. On Thursday, I had the Mercedes-Benz Corporate run, which went good. Friday was more studying and by then, I was really feeling horrible. I felt like a total cow, and the scary thing is, I kinda liked being a little lazy. I hadn’t done much all week considering what I used to do. It might have been worth it if I could say that the studying paid off. I could not say that. I had a long run planned for Saturday, but I hear back from the swim coach that taught the seminar I attended, and he was available Saturday morning so the run was moved to Sunday.
The swim lesson was awesome and embarrassing at the same time. The good thing, is that the coach really gets me. The bad thing, is that the coach really gets me. He totally calls me out on my specific brand of crazy. He completely sees that I over analyze everything and therefore mess it all up. He tells me to focus on arms, but if I feel my feet sinking even a little I start working on those and loose the arms. It went on like that for a bit and then he basically told me to stop trying to fix it all at once. He said “you are trying to put out 5 small fires at once but when you move from one to the next, the other only grows. If you focus on one at a time, you would keep the place from burning down.” He had a point. He also told me I research too much. I told him that when I was good enough, I would join the tri swim classes he does. He laughed and said “the classes are to help you GET good. Why would you try to get good on your own first? Has that worked for you before?” The man is my swim Yoda.
Sunday morning I woke up for my 14 mile run feeling like crap. I am not sure if it was just not sleeping well, or that I was/am fighting a cold, or that my body was just happy not doing much during the week and wanted to know why I was trying to disrupt that sweet lazy streak with a run. Regardless of why, I was not feeling it at all. I did my usual identification of just one thing to move forward and got ready. I packed my water bottles and fuel into my belt and headed out. I told myself that I would do a warm up mile, and then stretch a bunch before continuing on. I read that for long runs that was the best way to avoid cramping up. As soon as I started running I began to feel worse. I can only explain it as being similar to that feeling you get when you begin to show signs of the flu, where a lot of your body aches but you are not sure why. I told myself maybe I would just do 8 miles. Then I got to the greenway and tried to stretch out. I continued down the greenway, my back ached, my legs felt like they were going to pop and my heartbeat was thumping in my head. Then I just stopped. I got really upset and decided to just go back home. I thought about how inactive I was all week, how tight some muscles were feeling and how miserable I had been all week. It’s as I was heading home that I realized that what I needed was right with me the entire time, I just didn’t bother to look for it. My own body was screaming muscle imbalance. It’s not due to my inactivity this week, it’s due to all the sitting I have been doing including this week. I was the prime example of how some muscles become overactive to compensate for the under-active. It was my epiphany of how I could make the knowledge stick. I just needed to relate to it, and now I could. I had new hope for absorbing what I was learning.
I also realized that apparently I go too far one direction to compensate for another. I had one rough week of trying to balance the training and study so I wiped out my calendar. I focused on the studying so much that I was miserable and no better for it. I go from green to red, without slowing down at yellow to see where I need to be. I realized why I went to such an extreme. My problem is that I am still not comfortable with seeing red on that calendar. It’s my Achilles tendon. I put myself in a spot to rather have nothing on my calendar, than see at least some of those pretty green squares even if they might occasionally be next to an ugly red one. So, to ease my mind and help my body, I am trying a combo this week. Today, I started with reading my chapters while stretching out those muscles that had become way too tight. My mind did fine and my body thanked me (once it was done crying out in pain from all the stretching). I also created a study plan, so I know exactly what material needs to be covered each day. Tonight, I will load up my training calendar. Each day I will have to decide if I can do both, or need to push some training back for the sake of the class…. besides, I can always delete the red ones, right?