Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Is For All The Type A, Ridiculously Competitive Personalities Out There...

Give yourself a BREAK!
At 1:00am this morning, I was wide awake.  My throat hurt, my body ached, and in five short hours, I was supposed to be on a  3 1/2 hour trail run.  For the next two hours, I went back and forth, in and out of sleep, worried and negotiating with myself.  The conversation went something like this:
"Your G.C. run is exactly one month from today.  You need all the time you can get on the trails."
"Yeah, but I feel like CRAP!"
"Stop whining!  Suck it up!  Get through the run and then take some extra vitamin C and a nap!"
"What if it gets worse?"
"Get over it.  You can't take time off.  Take time off on April 24th."

I am really ridiculous sometimes.
The truth is... when I set my sights on something,  I often put an "all or nothing" attitude into reaching my goals, and as a result, can become a structured, painfully inflexible, rigid, irrational self-masochist with tunnel vision.  I yell at myself regularly.  Whining is not an option.  Giving up is not an option.

And here's an interesting thought...  For all those who have the "other" conversation in their heads, the one that results in immobility and the excuse to NOT push themselves to take that first step and start that thing they're passionate about---it's really not so different, is it?  Same self-destructive result. Hmmmm.

Lesson learned--over and over and over again.  When all the guts and commitment and work and determination throw off the balance of life, health and future, it's time to take a good hard look.  And it's not a pretty picture.  All the signs will eventually be pointing to a picture of a very disappointed gutsy girl who will NOT be able to run her goal of a R2R2R in the Grand Canyon in April.  All because she's not willing to back down when it's most important.  The reality is, one day off---even three days off will not hurt my training like my irrational side believes.   And in fact, as I possibly teeter on the border of overtraining, my body is most likely craving a break.

So, my rational, level-headed, intelligent side won today.  I took a day off.  I soaked in an bath of epsom salt, did some studying I've been neglecting, and ate and hydrated well.  And tonight?  My body is thanking me.  My irrational, competitive monster side is sulking in a corner somewhere.  Good riddance.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Erika -- thanks for the comment on the caffeine and sugar crackdown -- how are you doing with it? I had a bit of a dip days 5 and 6, but seem to be coming back out of it now..

    And this is a GREAT post. Are we the same person!? I am just like you, not being able to pull back at times when my body is quite legitimately demanding that I do! I learnt the hard way though -- I'm still carrying the remains of an overuse injury, 6 months later, because I kept trying to get back to running too soon. And then when I was back to running, I kept trying to run too far. WTF!? I've backed way off now anyway, and am -- gasp -- even doing some yoga! It's always good to be reminded of the need to kick the competitive monster into the corner though, so thanks! And good luck with training. I look forward to reading more :)