Friday, August 3, 2012

Listening to Things Other Than The Training Plan

I've heard a lot over the years about "listening to your body".  I think for most people it means taking stock of when your body is just feeling run down and to take an extra day to recuperate.  My body, on the other hand, is naturally extremely lazy and whiny.  It's default mode believes it is dying.  It regularly tries to convince me that it ought to be sitting on the porch with a glass of lemonade and a hand fan.* So the whole triathlon journey has been about saying to the Body, "Get up off that swing, no lemonade until later, and let's go for that 5-mile run now, slacker."

This week was a heavy load week.  After the Hutch's Ride Monday, the Swim Drills Tuesday, and the Big Hills Wednesday, I got up early for a 5 mile low-fuel run.  I find these are helpful to me for mental training- I go out early in the morning before I"m really awake, without eating very much (or anything).  I'm careful not to go longer than is safe, but just long enough that my body burns through its easily accessible fuel and starts whining and wanting to quit.  I promise, in every race there is a moment when you will be hungry and tired and feeling sluggish and will just want to quit.  Stuffing in more food will only upset your tummy, so what you need to do is train yourself to have the mental willpower to push just a little more.  And often, I find I did have the reserves that I didn't think I did.  These runs are never my fastest or happiest, but I am convinced they make me stronger.

I worked pretty steadily all morning.  But by early afternoon, I was in trouble.  I was sleepy.  I was yawning helplessly.  The parish has a fabulous new couch, and each Thursday I visit with the Needle Arts Guild as we knit.  This was very bad news for me, as the couch kept whispering "Put your head down on my springy, cozy new pillows.  I *want* you to nap on me!"  I grabbed a cup of coffee (which I haven't really been drinking a lot of lately, so it hit me like a ton of bricks), I got some work done on my latest knitting project, and called it quits a little early thinking that maybe working on my sermon would get me going.  I turned on the 80s Pandora which usually wakes me right up, and, about 30 minutes later, snapped to realizing I had been staring at the commentary open on my Kindle for several minutes without comprehending a word.  In fact, while the Kindle had my commentary open, the file open on my computer had something to do with the weekly prayer list.  And the paper in front of me was a book review for Seth Grahame-Smith's lastest novel.
Pretty much what my desk looked like yesterday.  

I think I was a little tired.

A good person who Listens to Their Body would have stayed home without guilt.  I still kinda thought about going out for the Tri Club brick, in the category of "Quit Whining, Body".

But there was another problem.  Without M at home, all the chores fall to me.  Left to my own devices, I had let the laundry pile up into three loads worth.

Not only had I not washed all my stuff from England yet, most of my sports clothes were in there, including all my sport bras and all my bike shorts and my running shorts and my socks.  All I had left in my closet were a pair of yoga pants and a T-shirt from my Seminary for the annual 2004 Class Retreat, which I don't like to wear to work out because I love it and I want it to last forever.

So instead of listening to my body, I listened to my laundry basket.  I spent the evening doing laundry (I still need to fold it!).  I also cooked- high-protein vegetarian Greek-inspired skillet (I think feta cheese would be a great touch on it).  And I spent hours sitting around with the cats who were clearly feeling neglected.  Then I went to bed as soon as Gabby Douglas won her fabulous gold medal and Michael Phelps had edged Ryan Lochte in the pool, and I slept about 10 hours.

Big swim today, and a long ride tomorrow morning!

*Why, yes, lemonade and a hand fan.  I lived in Virginia for long enough to adopt it as my home.  I married a Southern boy.  I am a north Southerner by marriage and adoption.

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