Checking Out

My body has packed its bags and is floating in a geothermal pool. I leave for Iceland tonight and the timing couldn’t be better. After what I thought was a sufficient post-ultra recovery period, I ramped my training back up and quickly felt the effects of too much, too soon.

I actually thought I had recovered from my sinus infection, but Wednesday’s swim attempt revealed otherwise. I’ve learned to listen to my body and interpret whether the complaints are just whining or really genuine. I know that when I’m underwater and feel like I’m inside a plastic bag, it’s time to stop.

I should have seen the signs on Sunday. I ran an easy 6 miler to see how my legs felt. The legs were fine but my head was so full of gunk I started overheating. It was a humid morning and I felt like I was running in a sauna. A water break and removing my shirt helped, but I should have known then I wasn’t fully recovered.

On Monday I went to yoga. Yowza, I was tight. Then I went for a 25 mile bike ride, which felt great, but soon after I felt really, really tired. I fell asleep on the couch around 4. I was planning to swim in the evening, but I found out my coach was out of town and I decided to bail. Just as well, because my husband was out biking with a teammate who blew a tire and didn’t have the right spare (read more about his adventures at http://triforfun.wordpress.com/), so he wouldn’t have been back in time for me to hand off the kids anyway.

After strength training on Tuesday I decided to do a tempo run. On a hilly route. I decided to do that because Wine Country Half Marathon, which is coming up sooner than I’d like, will be hilly. I sweated and wheezed and puffed and cursed VDOT or whoever is responsible for turning part of the path I run into a rocky mudslide, and only hit tempo pace for one of the five miles. Granted, I don’t expect to hit the pace this entire run because it is so hilly, but my performance isn’t usually this pathetic or exhausting.

Looking back, I realize I have fallen asleep – unintentionally – almost every afternoon for the past week. And I haven’t been sleeping well at night, either. Now my body has moved beyond hinting at needing a break and has checked into a nice hotel. I’m off to pack my bags and follow suit. See ya in 5 days!

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