Thursday, April 5, 2018

Crunch: Holding On Tightly

I’ve been back in the weight room for a few months, back in the water for a few weeks, and running regularly for just over a fortnight.  I finally feel good.  I don’t feel quite like myself in the water just yet, but I feel better than I did.  And I caught myself having fun on the treadmill yesterday, so much so that I started doing tempo intervals at a 7:30/mile pace.  That’s not too bad.  I feel like I’m finally getting there.
But man, it also feels like it’s been a hard road back.
True story: I caught myself listening to the Training Montage off the Rocky IV soundtrack (via Pandora) the other day, and I feel like, yeah, that's exactly it.  I’ve been slugging through the ice and snow just like Rocky, slowly rebuilding myself after a long, dark, lazy winter.  And I don’t want to give back an inch because I don’t want to have to re-do any of what I just did.  It feels like it was such a fight just to get back to feeling at least somewhat like myself that the idea of giving any that away with a weekend off is just not palatable.

But it’s complicated.  I usually train on a four-week cycle: three working weeks followed by a rest week in which I cut down my overall yardage/mileage by way of periodic recovery.  I’m through a full cycle now -- actually slightly more than a full cycle since I started on a Friday but measure weeks Monday through Sunday -- so I’m due for a rest week.  I just don’t want to take it.
I don’t want to give anything back.
But rest is important.  We don’t get stronger or faster when we’re working.  We get stronger, faster, and better when we recover from working.  We get better when we sleep because we put in quality work the previous day.  So I know that I need to power down for a few days.  If nothing else, it helps prevent injury.  It’s just hard, emotionally, to let go of the fight after living it day-to-day for the past three-and-a-half weeks.
The capital of New York as seen from my hotel room.
Fortunately, it’s out of my hands.  I’m in Albany for business this week, so I’m somewhat limited in what I can do.  Next week, Sally and I are headed out of town for a few days with the kids, and with any luck, we’ll get in just a bit more skiing before the final end of the season.  With that, it’s gonna be hard to get any quality yardage or mileage.  
I may as well enjoy it and rest.

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