Winter seems to be creeping up on us here in Vancouver pretty quickly. Snow has been falling 90km north in Whistler for a few weeks now and on Monday before the family and I drove back down to Van there were signs of snow starting to sneak into the village. Leaves are now almost completely off the trees and my morning rides/walks to swimming have seen frost on the ground...a pretty good sign winter is on its way.
Like the winter weather a little case of "hard ass training, not enough sleeping" has crept in this week and I am currently nursing myself through a fatigued Thursday. With family visiting, school work, friends and training to fit into a week I think I pushed it a little too hard this time around and with about 18 hours sleep from 4 nights in bed it's caught up with me today.
That said I rose above the voice inside my head (telling me to stop being such a girl and keep at it) and called this mornings swim set a day at 3km followed up with 15 minutes in the hot tub - greatly needed. A short nap later I joined my Mum and sister in town for their final day in Vancouver, after a brief shopping spree, lunch and a shuttle to the airport (with an emotional goodbye) I headed back to campus to continue the recovery. Another nap...plenty of food and a shower has left me feeling back on form and ready for a steady day tomorrow.
Last week was pretty solid getting in just over 23 hours of pretty tough work so I am old enough and wise enough to know when to take it easy. Another race on Sunday but again I'll keep evaluating the situation and won't push myself over the edge just for a training race...even though racing is why I do all this.
On that note I'm going to put on a film and have an early night. I think it takes a while for anyone to become "in tune" with their body, however once you are you can tell when somethings up as you know it inside and out. There is nothing wrong with taking an easy day when you need it, the reason behind it - so you can train harder and in the right way tomorrow. DON'T feel bad about taking it easy for this reason.
...However if your taking an easy day because you "can't be bothered", "don't want to train in the rain/snow/hurricane" or "were drunk last night" FEEL BAD. Just get out there and do what you love.
I'll finish up with a quote from a running advert I saw in Triathlete mag a few months back,
RUN LIKE AN ANIMAL!
"IF YOU RAN WITHOUT SACRIFICE, CONGRATULATIONS. YOU JUST JOGGED.
Running hurts. It always has. Woolly mammoths didn't just roll over onto a plate and serve themselves to prehistoric man with fries and a shake. They had to be caught - and running down woolly mammoths was a bitch. Guess what? Running is still a bitch. But one with a purpose. It teaches us that good things do not come easy. It teaches us that we are capable of more than we think. It teaches us that hard work will be rewarded and laziness will be punished. Don't expect to learn those life lessons from running's shiftless stepchild; jogging. Next time you suffer on the roads or trails, suffer proudly. It means you run like an animal!"
Stanley Park, October 2008