Monday, February 9, 2009

Change is Hard. Who knew?


So one of my resolutions is to pay more attention to my need for rest, right? *yawn* And take breaks and sleep more and not feel like a slacker for *stretch* doing so, right? So when does everyone freak out when I do that? *yawn* Man, is anyone else so tired?!? I could pull a George Costanza and curl up under my desk for a nap right now.

Last Monday started like any normal morning. I stumbled into the gym at 4:55, groggily hung up my keys and jacket on my little hook, mumbled with Awesome about our respective weekends, and headed to my trusty treadmill to wake up. I pushed my little buttons and put on my headphones and started my run as usual. Well, kind of as usual. For some reason, my usual 9:30/mile pace felt like I was trying to keep up with a cheetah. I stopped to catch my breath and looked at the machine. What was different? Nothing. I started running again, and again felt the belt run away without me. Either this treadmill was wacked out or I was. I voted for the treadmill.

The next day, the same thing happened. I had to bump it down to 5.5 just to keep from falling off the back of the treadmill. After 15 minutes, feeling hurt and betrayed, I gave up and hopped on the elliptical. Was it something I said? Why did I suddenly suck so bad?

On Wednesday I shot a frosty look at my former friend and made a big production of shunning the treadmill to do bike intervals instead. It didn't matter. The rest of my workout was laggard, tired, and sluggish. On the drive to work I had a hard time keeping my eyes open. At my desk, I wanted to fall asleep. In complete contrast, later in the day I ran an easy 3.5 miles at 8:57/mile and wolfed down calories like a sumo wrestler. What was going on with me?

Some of my supportive and oh-so-hilarious friends had a great time speculating on what stage of early pregnancy I was in. (Stop doing the happy dance, mom. I'm not. I checked.)

But fatigue....intense hunger....more irritability and bossiness than usual.... something was up. Suddenly, my New Years Resolution came rushing back to me and I realized that this must be my body's way of telling me to take a break. Wow, it worked! After a quick panic debate in my head (I'll spare you the psychotic details of that) I made a bold decision: on Thursday morning, I would sleep in.

But I set my alarm that night just in case I changed my mind.

When 4:00 rolled around and some random music began to play in my ear, I said a quick prayer of redemption and turned that sucker off. I ignored the nagging sense of regret in the back of my head all day and reminded myself that rest was supposed to be a good thing and that other people even claim to enjoy it.

Then, the following Tuesday, after unremarkable but fine workouts Friday and Monday, I showed up to my usual Tuesday/Thursday crowd. I had barely taken off my headphones before I heard, "WHERE WERE YOU???" "Are you sick again?" "I had to do dead lifts all alone!"

No, I told them. I just took a rest day. I could tell they didn't believe me.

Eyes narrowed. "That doesn't sound like you," one of them said skeptically.

She was right; even I didn't recognize this person who was okay with taking a break and slacking off for a day. It felt weird and I didn't really like it. But, just as I made a goal to work as hard as I can to reach my MGP, I made a goal to take better care of myself and rest when I needed to. And, damn it, I just can't ignore a goal.

So, I'm changing, however begrudgingly. I still believe that we're either working towards our goals or away from them, and nothing gets accomplished by doing nothing. But this rest thing...well...I hope it gets easier and at the same time, I hope it doesn't.

1 comment:

EDP said...

I know this is hard for you, but I'm glad that you're recognizing your need to recover and regenerate. Proper rest is part of the big picture! But I know what you mean. Resting can sometimes feel like wasting time.