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…

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Posted on February 14, 2012, in Learning, LIfe_goes_on, Running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I have a new found fondness for naps myself… rest IS an important part of my training program.

    And as for cleaning, your “good enough” is well about what’s needed to move some RE.

    So, if it don’t show, don’t clean it!

  2. Oh I so know those crashes! I have good energy levels and maintain a very active lifestyle, and then once in awhile after a big push I lose all inertia and find myself consumed with the “what’s wrong” thoughts. Then my mental inventory reminds me that I have been there before! How great to go back to earlier blogposts to refresh your memory! And you’ve now “done” the first V-Day…hope it wasn’t too draining! Can’t wait to hear what new thoughts and direction is yet to come post corporate-life! So great! Debra

  3. At random, I think about how great it will be when I’m able to read through bog posts to figure things out, prove things, and learn(or remind myself of) lessons.

    Crashes are no fun at all. Especially when we’ve become accustomed to rushing about. Try to revel in it a little. Fill your relaxation time with a little bit more than relaxation. Maybe orders in, reading, writing, spa trips…Enjoy it. 🙂

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