Before 5AM

Posted: 05/18/2012 in Uncategorized
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4:41 AM: Alarm #1

4:41:02 AM: The sound of me smacking Alarm #1.

4:45 AM: Alarm #2 (Yes, it’s a different alarm clock).

4:45:02 AM: The sound of me furiously tapping the touch screen on Alarm#2 to MAKE. IT. STOP!

4:51 AM: Alarm #1 again.

4:55 AM: Alarm #2 again.

Me: Got to get up. Clothes are laid out. Gotta go to bootcamp.

The Resistance: But you’re going to run at lunch. You can sleep in.

Me: But what if I don’t run at lunch. I won’t get to work out tonight. And I’ve got that run tomorrow. That run will feel like crap tomorrow if I don’t get a workout in today.

The Resistance: Oh well, if you’re running tomorrow, then you don’t even need to run at lunch today. Just go for a walk. You could use a rest sweety. You’re tired. Go back to sleep.

Me: (to myself) C’mon. You know you need to get this bootcamp in or Monday’s bootcamp is just going to feel twice as hard. You know you’re getting up, now put your feet on the floor. You’re just making it so you’re going to have to rush and you know how you hate to rush. With all this thinking, you’re already up, you might as well sweat. You’ll feel better sweaty.

The Resistance: See, you’re running late now. Why do you want to rush? Go ahead and sleep in today.

Me: (to myself, as I am doing my best to ignore The Resistance) That’s a good girl. Put your feet on the floor. There you go, and up out of bed.

5:02 AM: I am downstairs throwing on a sportsbra & my Nikes. 

Yaaaaa’ll – it was a hard morning to get out of bed for that early wake-up. But I did it and I’m glad I did it, though I still feel pretty tired. I’m still stubborn-ing through runner’s block. I fought through Tuesday’s run. Did Wednesday’s bootcamp. Took a rest day on Thursday as I thought a visit to the chiropractor might help me shake off the fatigue, and then Bootcamp this morning.

I’m planning to go to running group tomorrow morning for a short 3 mile preview of a 5k the group is doing next weekend, and then I have a fun run – a 4k Tap ‘n Run I’m registered for tomorrow night. So 2 runs tomorrow (though I’ll probably walk a good part of the second one) on a body that is just so. damn. tired.

And I don’t think it’s even the workouts that are killing me – they’re hard, but not any more extreme than usual. They just feel a lot harder than usual. I think I’m going through what I call a “teardown” cycle. Just like we cycle through fits of enthusiasm and doldrums in our workout routines, the body has it’s own cycle of plateaus and progress. Mine usually cycles through a plateau, then a “teardown”, then a really short plateau, and then a huge spurt of progress.

The first plateau can be indefinite – from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months. The scale doesn’t move a whole lot and I feel better with the workouts, but nothing hugely noticeable. Then a teardown cycle usually lasts about 3 weeks – that’s where everything hurts and workouts feel way harder than they normally do. And because it feels so hard, and you’re so bitchy tired, the motivation just isn’t there. Also, I want to eat like crap, so I have to wage that war at the same time. MUST. EAT. LOTS OF YUMMY CARBS!!! THE GREEN THINGS. The Resistance is a pro at taking advantage of the the teardown cycle – tempting me to skip workouts, sleep late, and eat way too much of all the wrong stuff. It’s like watching the Energizer Bunny crap it’s batteries, flip you the bird, and go crash out for a long nap in front of the TV – but only after he tells you to turn the volume down on the show you’re watching ’cause it’s not like he can just GO IN THE BEDROOM and take that stupid nap.

That is one crabby-ass bunny sometimes.

Teardown is a prick too. And if I’m not careful – and stubborn – I can undo a lot of good work I’ve done in the previous weeks. Got to fight the good fight.

But I’ll get through it. And I’ll fight to keep as many of the good things on track as I can. And eventually it won’t feel so hard – I’m almost through week 1 already. And then I’ll move through to the next part of the cycle where things feel alright again. The fatigue starts to lift. Everything isn’t irrationally exhausting. I begin to enjoy the running and the workout routines again. Optimism strikes. After that, it’s like someone throws some nitrous into my muscles and that huge burst of progress hits. THAT, my friend, is worth working it out for. In the progress cycle, I’m ten feet tall and bulletproof (though still irrationally afraid of bugs and heights – some things don’t change). I can leap tall buildings, or at least press the ‘up’ key several times really fast, and I’m almost faster than a rickshaw stuck in traffic. In the progress cycle, I OUT-AWESOME MYSELF. And since I’m already awesome, that’s even awesomer. The scale starts to move down, I feel GREAT and alll of the parts that have been ‘torn down’ are built back up and stronger than they were before. Did I mention that I feel GREAT? and FAST? and STRONG?

Thinking about that happy feeling – grasping at that straw of hope – is what gets me through the 3 weeks of teardown. Knowing that at the end, if I just keep working through it, I’ll end up stronger because of it. Before the cycle starts again.

thoughts?

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