Friday, October 26, 2007

A workout and an epiphany

The workout: a very good hour at the gym with M. Just regular, but enjoyable--and we're back on the evil plyometrics, this is good, some pretty tame jump squats for now but it will be more intense soon--they really are evil anyway--as is that running-in-place-with-knees-up-to-your-chest activity...

And I did two miles on the treadmill afterwards, it having been gradually dawning on me that (a) I am not happy with just running the two days I have been consistently able to manage real long(ish) ones, Tuesday and Saturday but (b) I do not have the empty space for other "real" ones. I seem to have been hearing from a number of different people recently about run frequency as a way of increasing volume, and I think squeezing in a couple (I wish the noun was "brace"!) of treadmill miles here and there will be a good way to go. Took em slow, was already pretty tired...

And then I went out to a play which I barely got to in the nick of time, and exhaustion kind of hit me as I slumped down in my seat waiting for it to start. I was sort of hell-bent on going to the Friday morning swim workout, I really would like to do all three morning ones in the week, but the combination of jet lag and four hours sleep last night plus not enough sleep all week was making me (really) eye the floor and wonder what would happen if I just lay down there to take a nap. Then I started mentally running the numbers. 8-11 for the play, 11-12 for dinner (which really it is not right to opt out of, not sociable!), half an hour cab home, say 1:15 absolute earliest time to be asleep and 5:30 as rising time for swim workout.

There was no possible sense in which it could be considered a good idea for me to do the morning swim workout.


Now I am going to go to bed and sleep for a very long time, at least ten hours if possible.

The thing is I still feel incredibly guilty! And I was thinking during the intermission at the theatre about the fact that about 90% of the time it is very good that I am extremely determined and with a good work ethic, but the other 10% is problematic. And the memory that came to me, though it's vague now, was of a fifth-grade camping trip.

It was a three- or four-day camping trip and there was a tradition in this class of there being a competition for who could walk backwards for the longest time--not the longest time in a row, just not walking forwards at all. (I am so tired I am not explaining this clearly!) So there was an official start point where everyone began walking backwards (i.e. doing all their walking backwards), and we all kept it up for a little while but of course pretty quickly people got tired of it. So by a couple hours later there aren't very many people still doing it--but I am of course grimly determined to walk backwards for the entire trip as necessary so as to make sure I am the longest holdout. Well, you can imagine the result of this. All the walking and hiking and other stuff you have to do on a trip like this was all horribly endured by me walking backwards. It came down to me and one other guy (I could not at all tell you who that fellow was, though I am sure at the time it seemed significant), we had both gone on days longer than everyone else, neither one of us would give up--I was desperate to stop, really, walking backwards was by this point so awful that it was making me want to burst into tears, only I was damned if I was going to be the first one to stop! And in the end I forgot, I think I either got out of bed in the morning or got up out of a chair and walked forwards and was disqualified, and was of course greatly relieved.

(But you see the general drift of this...)

The real clincher, and the thing that makes me feel not quite as guilty, is that it matters to me to have a good run on Saturday morning, and I will not if I do not sleep adequately tonight, so there it is.

4 comments:

Wendy said...

Here's the thing: you just can't do it all!!! And sleep is much more important than most folks give it credit for. So I hope you had some good restorative sleep, enjoyed the play, and banished the guilt.

Anonymous said...

I read this just as I was driving myself crazy thinking I *must* go out and do my run, even though my knees are aching and I really overextended myself this week. I know if I rest today, my run tomorrow will be great. But that sense of guilt is SO powerful that it drives me to run even when it risks injury. So I take your post as a sign to me that I should knock it off today and live to run another day. I think you should get the sleep you need. Remember, you can do yourself harm by overdoing it.

Jenny Davidson said...

Yes, knock it off and run tomorrow instead! I did get the sleep, it was much needed. This is one of these lessons we have to learn again and again--I had an awful stress fracture last year from ignoring it, I try to be mindful but it's a tough one...

Brent Buckner said...

If the term were "brace" some might quail!

Increased frequency especially good for soft tissues. but building duration (to at least two hours) good for aerobic system - trade-off evident. Calcium uptake may be an issue if consuming relatively high carbohydrate but calorie-restricted diet.

More anon - which perhaps I should trademark for a twelve step program (I'm sure you'd register because I'd make it very demanding).

MoreAnon. Filled with More-ons!