Red wine, olives and not much sleep, or a lesson in questionable training practices

imageI’m not sure how long it’s been now since I accepted ‘tired’ as my default setting.

Back in March I wrote about our tendency to be ‘tired and wired‘, and although after that post I made tweaks to my lifestyle for a week or so, I seem to have slipped back into the same pattern of burning the coffee-fuelled candle at both ends.

Whether it’s first thing in the morning, emerging blurry eyed for a run, or resting my eyes on the commute to work; at 3:30pm when the post-lunch sleepiness sets in, or at 10pm on my way home from a work/sporting/social event, before collapsing into bed ready to start over again the next day, I seem to be in a regular cycle of weariness.

I do of course find routes out of my soporific state – endless cups of tea, water to stay hydrated, stretching, running, fresh air, the occasional nap – but these tend to feel more like temporary fixes, rather than actual long-term solutions.

What is ridiculous is while I acknowledge that I am tired, I hear myself denying to others that I’m trying to take on too much.

In fact, despite my constant reminders to myself that I can’t do everything all
of the time, and to embrace the JOMO (discussed in a previous post) I can’t help but harbour the belief that everyone else is managing to do more than me and still stay afloat.

I look at my colleagues with children and wonder how they are able to juggle their commitments so apparently effortlessly, or my friends who not only have successful careers, but also make their own clothes, bake, host dinner parties, attend regular yoga classes and still manage to look fresh faced and rosy cheeked everyday (you know who you are!).

After a busy week last week, a hectic Monday in the office (including a trek to and from our Windsor office), a 2 hour dance class in the evening and a resultant late supper and even later night, it probably shouldn’t have been surprising that when I woke up on Tuesday I was a little weary. Moreover after a morning of firefighting emails and two meetings, it probably wasn’t totally out of the blue that my lunchtime run was a little below par, despite my protestations at the time that ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me’.

With a serious marathon training programme fast approaching I can’t help but think I need to reassess how much I can realistically take on. I will certainly be giving my diet and red wine habit a review (fewer evenings of trading an actual meal with a glass of red wine and a shared bowl of olives), but I think I also need to think about the importance of sleep, rest and recovery.

R was talking to me about one of his friends who is a seasoned marathon runner and he said that it was taking his recovery and rest days seriously for his latest marathon that really helped him smash his PB. So no running, dancing, swimming or climbing on rest days, and plenty of stretching, sleep and protein rich meals. Well, if it’s good enough for a real marathon man, then it’s good enough for me! And I definitely will have an early night…tomorrow maybe.

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