Monday, April 22, 2013

It's time to relax ... and also live it up

On Friday I declared my excitement over seeing race day in the forecast. I wasn't lying, but it did occur to me that not so long ago, I also would have been admitting to a twinge of sadness that game time was almost here.

Training had been going so well — and it still is — and I'd been reveling in the discipline it imposed on my life. In fact, I even feared its end a little bit, because it signals the end of significant running for the next three months. That will be RAGBRAI time.

Over the past few days, and with a close-to-perfect forecast for race day, though, I've cast that melancholy aside for two reasons.

One, I'm ready to rest. Two, I'm ready to party.

For the first point: I took last Wednesday off, as I'd planned, and Thursday off, as I hadn't planned but certainly didn't refuse. And still, the siren songs of couch lounging, napping and hitting the snooze button one more time are blaring.

I don't think I've overtrained, because the runs feel fine, but the mileage is adding up for sure. An extended period of laziness seems like the most efficient way to make me stop wondering whether I've caught the sleeping sickness, somehow, despite living far from any tropical regions.

For the second point: As a runner in training, I don't regret making sure my body is hydrated, rested and ready for race day; as an introvert fighting her nature, I'm concerned about my growing reputation for — and inclination toward — staying in.

A few times, I've passed on grabbing a few drinks because I wanted to wake up refreshed for the next day's runs.

Other times, I've declined post-work because I was tired/hungry and wanted to go home, a problem I don't recall having as often last fall, when my running was less focused and more recreational. (I don't think the constant gloomy weather is helping my nesting instinct, either.)

And once — remember the only day in 2013 that we broke 70 degrees? — I had to decline because the day's workout had utterly drained me.

None of this is to say that I regret training for a half marathon.

I probably wouldn't find the thought of waking up with a smile after 7.25 hours of sleep — or waking up with a wine headache/beer gutache — as appealing had I been experiencing those phenomena frequently over the past few months.

Nor would I have netted one PR and cast my eyes on another, if I hadn't been relatively dedicated to my training.

In conclusion? It's a good thing I decided to follow up my half marathon with RAGBRAI, because as I understand it, training for this event will require me to practice nomming cake, raising a glass and demanding that I get up and crank out serious miles the next day.

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