Between being mentally stimulated all day with school or studying, 3 days a week in the gym and a handful of days out on the trails my body is exhausted. My brain is exhausted. Just everything is exhausted. I’ve been toying around with theories about why I feel so tired and I think it is a combination of being constantly stimulated through school and studying all the amazing things I get to learn, but also ramping up training after a fairly sleepy winter season of resort days and ski touring as well as fighting off some unknown illness as I have fairly swollen lymph nodes right now which I will be getting tests done for soon if they don’t go away. The heat lately doesn’t help for energy levels much while out on trails either. That is something I will need to be working at!
I personally believe that rest is one of the most important things you can do for your body in life and in training. If you are tired, if your muscles are sore, if you hurt anywhere its important to let your body recover properly. So sleep!! Chill out! Eat some good food! I’ve had to shorten my runs this past week but am still getting out with decreased hours on trail and less intensity. I had been one of those people who went insane with training and it landed me with a severe injury in my neck because I wasn’t listening to my body and it needing some time to chill. The result from that was me being unable to continue with the sport that I loved so dearly, and continues up until this day. I honestly don’t know if I will ever feel healthy and pain free on a bike again. The moral of that quick story? Please rest when you need to rest. I know it is beneficial to be training and then running on fatigued legs but when you are so exhausted you can barely stay awake, your heart rate is out of control or you just aren’t recovering as fast… you need to rest.
Because of the energy depletion, this week has been a struggle of doubts about upcoming races because of how terrible my body has felt. I get into my head on trail when I’m tired like this and think “should I even sign up for that distance? If 10km right now feels terrible how will 100km in February feel…” I know its a terrible mind set to be in so I then talk myself down from that ledge knowing it will pass, it always does and I always try to remind myself that todays feelings does not depict tomorrow. I am strong and capable, I am just in a rut.
In other news, I’ve been working with a coach to make my running gait more efficient. Right now I feel like a colt learning to walk or like a prancy pony as my friend Lara said during our run this evening. It feels super weird, but it is lightening my foot strikes, encouraging more of a forefoot landing and definitely seems more efficient. My pace has slowed a bit but I think once I don’t have to focus on the exact movement and maintaining it I will be able to pick up the speed. I was already running with a forefoot strike but it fell out the window on descents and when I got tired. Our run tonight was a majority of downhill and I stayed in the strong efficient gait while running down through technical sections and noticed less hard slapping of my foot to the ground and felt really strong and balanced. I will say though, it is scary committing your weight forwards on the downhills, but it is so much better for energy consumption.
Oh… and highlight from my run tonight? WE SAW AN OWL! He was pretty darn cute.