Have a Rest! Unintended Super-Relaxing

The bike is both friend and enemy right now. The act of riding feels emotionally healing and psychologically restorative, but my rides leave me physically worked over, napping for hours afterward, shivering from chills. And I’m not just talking about hard rides. The easy rides, too. The no-effort 1.5 hour spin. Demolished. Ker-plow!

I took 3 days off (the longest I’ve been off the bike since December) and then backed off training a little, cutting my hours almost in half despite the fact that I should have been putting in two solid weeks in preparation for next week’s stage race.

I keep reminding myself (and being reminded by others) that I won’t magically lose all my fitness over the course of a few weeks. I know that. I do. I know it – I’m just not a fan of setbacks. That’s fair, isn’t it? I’m allowed to be impatient, right?

The fatigue is a deep aching everywhere. The kind of pain that emanates from nowhere and pulses.

I’m over hearing myself talk and think about it, to be honest. But I figure it’s important to mark these moments – to remind yourself how good you have it when things are status quo.

In the middle of this mysterious never-ending tired ache, I went to a previously scheduled appointment with my massage therapist for some accupressure work. Hearing her suggest that perhaps I was actually just “tired” was both a shock and a wake-up call.

Maybe I am just tired.

The truth is that the bike is the least of my concerns at this moment. Sometimes, that’s just how it goes.

Life is a monsoon right now. Powerful and kind of awe-inspiring, but a little out of control. A little hard to predict. I’m spending a lot of time standing at the window admiring the frenzy but hoping that the wind doesn’t rip off the rooftop of my well-being.

Whatever happens, when my body returns to its regularly scheduled programming, I’m going to remember this. And I’m going to be thankful. And I’m probably going to be out to rip a few legs.

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4 comments

  1. After coaching rowing for several years I came to realize there was at least as much potential lost to over training as to under training.
    Take a break, have a nice time, come back and start again.

  2. I sure hope Heidi doesn’t get burned out and have a lack luster cyclocross season. You’re hitting it awfully hard there, kid.

  3. It’s not the training in isolation, it’s balancing LIFE with training. You have been doing so much recently! Launching your new website/business (looks great), getting your mom’s website going, having your TEN year anniversary (congrats HP and Salvo!), etc. This is stressful and adds up. But, you also had a great race this weekend :) Great job Heidi!

    RC

  4. Heidi, I don’t know you and don’t want to be overly familiar, but I can’t tell you what a terrible experience I had with overtraining last fall. (Read about it here.) It was quite the lesson (which I still didn’t completely learn). I wholeheartedly agree with RC: Overtraining often consists of too much training AND too many life stressors. I found it too hard to stop, so my body ended up simply stopping me: I was literally falling asleep at my desk at work, couldn’t socialize, couldn’t ride.

    I hope this is more severe than what you’re going through, but the warning signs of which you write seem too familiar not to mention it. The sooner you dial it back, the less time you’ll have to actually be off the bike. The longer you wait, the deeper and longer-lasting the effects.

    Wishing you a full and speedy bounce-back! I enjoy your blog. Keep it up.

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