The post race crash and the blog-enabled “aha!”
I have been soooooooooo tired…….. since I finished the half marathon on Sunday. I was surprised that it had taken so much out of me. I don’t know why I didn’t recognize my exhaustion and slightly sore throat for what it was — my body telling me that I have done enough and it is time for some serious rest. I mean, not only did I go out and run 13.1+ miles at a pace that I never could have imagined a couple of years ago, but within the past couple of weeks I’ve also:
- Put my condo on the market
- Spent dozens of hours cleaning the place
- Quit my job and bid a resounding farewell to corporate America forever
- Survived my first Valentine’s Day (and yet another holiday) without Kurt.
Conventional corporate wisdom would say that I’m justified in burning as much accrued sick time as I dare between now and my last day of work on February 24. But I still have this deeply ingrained work ethic that told me to get up again this morning and stagger semi-consciously a few yards to my home office to try to work.
I lasted until 11:30 and then emailed my boss that I needed to lie down for the rest of the day.
Sometime around 5:00 PM I woke up and decided to re-read my blog posts from October, to see what happened in the days and weeks after my last half marathon in Victoria BC.
Well, there it was all laid out in my own words, and painfully obvious to me. If I keep pushing myself beyond normal physical and mental limits, I eventually crash.
I have crashed.
But what’s really cool is that I have those October blog posts as a record of what I did and didn’t do, the signals that I tried to stifle and that wound up laying me low for more than two weeks. I came out of that October race feeling strong so I just kept running — and the crash, when it came, was huge.
So I won’t do that again.
Re-reading those posts and experiencing that “aha!” was liberating. I know now what I need to do to take care of myself, and it does not include working for long hours to try to leave a clean plate behind me. Whatever is left on that plate when I go won’t matter. What matters is that I take care of myself. I shall sleep in late. I shall take naps. I shall go to bed early. I shall keep my to-do list both brief and fluid.
Am I being self-indulgent? Very well, I shall be self-indulgent! (with a cockeyed salute to Walt Whitman)
And I shall keep blogging my way through this — because it’s entirely possible that I may need to relearn this lessson yet again, and when I do I’ll want more data on the subject.
Thanks for indulging me…