Saturday, March 21, 2009

6 Oops....


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Was supposed to run a race today, but fell asleep on the couch last night & ....well you can guess the rest. :)

It doesn't help that my sleep schedule has been royally screwed up lately. I couldn't fall asleep last night until 2 am. Was kinda wired. Maybe it was due to running much later in the evening that I normally do (I ran on the treadmill at 8 pm!), or maybe it was because I was all keyed up after our group Skype session (which lasted until about 10:30 pm!). Not sure.

At any rate, after being on the computer for a bit, I then tried to unwind a bit by going into the family room & watching some TV. Actually, I was on my way to bed, & had fully intended to go there, but saw that the charge on my mobile phone was low.

So, since my mobile also doubles as my alarm clock, I went into the main family room area & thought to myself, "OK, I'll just wait here on the couch & watch TV for a bit while my mobile charges."

Watching a few minutes of TV would be harmless enough, right? Er, apparently not. ;-)

After a few minutes, I went to check on the mobile again. Nope, still not fully charged. However, when I returned to the couch to continue waiting, it wasn't long before my original sitting position somehow morphed into a reclining one, & the eyes started to close. It happened so gently, so gradually that I hardly realized it was happening at all until somehow I was fast asleep on the couch. Zzzzzzz.

When the eyes did open again, I was staring at the stereo clock, which read "8:26 am." I think my first thought was something like "Ah, @#$%&!!!!! Not AGAIN!"

I briefly tried to calculate whether or not it'd be humanly possible to still make the race, & then after remembering the last experience, decided that I frankly feel like racing around just to get to the race, which in fact, starts shortly at 9:15 am. (It's now 9:04 am as type this.) I did that once or twice before & frankly have had enough with doing that!

That's OK. Truth be told I didn't really feel like racing today, & am much more in the mood to do a long run. It'll probably be somewhere between 14 & 16 miles.

Since I missed my long run last week, it'll feel good to get in a long, slow run like this. Plus, it's Saturday & weekly mileage is not where it should be. At only 10.6 miles thus far, I haven't exactly been racking up the miles this week. ;-) So, it'll be a good opportunity to play catch up.

After the last spate of posts, it probably won't be surprising or shocking if I were to reveal that my motivation has been exceptionally low lately, & it's been a struggle to get out the door. I suspect it's the overtraining "voodoo" still at work. :)

It's not so much about the actual doing of the running, which I seem to be able to do. I just don't seem to want to keep to the external schedule that's been "assigned" to me. The regimentation is frankly something I've been subconsciously fighting with every fiber of my being. :)

Again, I'm an adult & thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I signed up for the running clinic. However, maybe I forgot to factor in that I haven't run in a structured group program quite like this before, ever. Yes, I've done track & field (in high school!), have taken various other athletic classes before, & have also met people after work to run or play basketball games on a semi-regular schedule, & -- blah blah, blah -- but it's frankly been a while that I've had to show up for "practice" of any sort. ;-)

In my heart of hearts, I'm more of a "go with the flow, do your own thing" kind of person, so having to meet up with a group three times a week at specific times is a maybe a bit more imposed external structure than I honestly really want to take on right now.

Now I know that many people like or need this sort of thing to ensure that their runs get done. But that's actually not the case for me: At this point, I'm conditioned to run versus not run, & am pretty sure that I'll do the runs. I just don't always want to do them at a particular time that's been predetermined by a hard-&-fast, external schedule. When this happens, it's usually not long before I start getting resentful, & then it's all downhill from there, baby. ;-)

Let's just say that, basely solely on the "non-conformance" factor, that I probably wouldn't have made a good candidate for the military. OK, let's not mince words here: I flat-out despise regimentation & imposed schedules. Some structure is certainly necessary, but I guess that I like to be the one setting the structure. ;-) It probably comes from being an artist & an entrepreneur & liking to be in the driver's seat. I'm very independent-minded. :)

I suspect that if I weren't feeling this external pressure in combination with the mental & physical side effects of overtraining, I wouldn't be fighting the schedule with every fiber of my being. :)

Yeah, yeah, I know it's already been a few weeks that I've been yammering on about overtraining, but nonetheless, there it is.

What I'm experiencing right now is frankly very hard to put into words at the moment. It's like I'm pushing an exceptionally large & heavy rock up a hill & every pore of me is screaming, "Nooooooooo!"

Yes, I'm running more weekly mileage right now for this program than I've ever done before. (OK, not exactly, literally, right now, right this week, but I mean overall!!!!) And yes, I'm doing more speed work than I have done, ever.

However, it's not simply the challenge itself. I love challenges. However, I just feel so resistant & that's just not like me. That's how I know something is not quite right.

At any rate, don't count me out just yet. When it comes right down to it, I'm a tough little bugger. I might not be known for doing things the way that other people want or expect me to do them, but trust me, I will nonetheless get them done. It's just the way I'm built. From an early age, I've been wired to "never give up."

So I'm still going to see this program through. In total, I've only missed 2 workouts so far -- I've shown up for every track practice thus far except for one, & have only missed one long run, so I think that still says "dedication." :)

There's about a month left of this clinic, & I fully intend to show up for track practice every week & for the majority of organized, group weekend long runs. Please note, this doesn't mean that I plan to skip any of the workouts; on the contrary, I think that, for my own sanity, I'm going to put less pressure on the number of group runs I do per week. However, I will still being doing all of the runs, just maybe not all of them with the group. That way, I can have some much-needed space to relax & have some alone time -- a little corner of peace & quiet -- and also not feel like there's so much overly rigid structure pounding down on me like a 200 pound gorilla.

When the pressure comes on, it's sometimes best to open up a release valve & let off some steam. It's certainly better than bursting. ;-)

And furthermore, & most importantly, this approach will keep me still moving toward, versus away from (!), my goals. :)

6 comments:

Photo Kibble said...

Don't ya just hate it when that happens! I was a whole day late for a race once. I drove from Baltimore to the National Zoo for their 5K race. I was so excited about it since I worked for the Zoo in Baltimore. When I drove to the race site in DC early on a Sunday morning, it seemed quiet. Then a zoo staffer told me the race was heald the day before ;-0
Ha!
Patrice

Abimars said...

Abi was here and will be back with a proper comment ;)

Kimberly said...

Girl....I feel your pain. I have been in a rut for most of the winter. Different reasons but the same result. I try to tell myself that I am running to make my life better...if it ends up causing more stress then I am doing something wrong.
I will have to find out which hotel we are staying at so we may be able to meet up. I know it is a couple of blocks from the metro. We will take it every day to do sightseeing. We may be gone every day from morning till the evening but maybe you could suggest a place to eat and we could meet up there??
Really enjoyed the skype talk last night. Wish I had signed up for it earlier. I think it will be great to talk with other runners.
Take care of yourself and remember you run to create less stress in you life...not more...SMILE

Kimberly (berly6412)

Melissa Hope said...

Man, I have missed so many races. Sometimes, I hate when they have them so early. But I've run some late races, and those are hard!

DuffRunner said...

oh no! Oh well. you have the right attitude. Go with the flow. I hear you on the group run sessions. That's very regimented and rigid. Disregard my DM!

cyberpenguin said...

Thanks everybody for your comments.

LOL, Patrice! At least you got there on time, even though the race was the day before. ;-)

Hi Abi! Nice to see you here. Thanks for popping by. Missed you & your fun sense of humor! Hope you're doing well.

Thanks, Kimberly! Yes, you are so right about that. Running is normally a source of joy, but when it turns into something stressful, it's time to re-evaluate for one's own healthy & sanity! ;-) BTW, I sent you a restaurant recommendation in a Twitter DM, as you probably already have seen by now. Thanks for sending your contact info; I'm looking forward to going for a run together! :) Have a safe trip & will see you very soon!

Hi Melissa! You've got a point; on the one hand, later races allow people to sleep in (& also make it easier to actually make these races! ;-) ), but then on the other hand, it often feels better to run the earlier ones & then enjoy a nice big meal afterwards! :)

Thanks, DuffRunner! Yes, agreed. Some people do better with regimentation & rigid structure than others. ;-) Like you, I prefer to "go with the flow" & prefer a happy medium between structure & lack thereof. :) Being flexible & ultimately doing what's best for you, regardless of what the schedule says or what everyone else is doing, usually seems to be the best approach.

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