For the past two to three years I rarely took a day off, and by rarely I mean very, very seldom. About the only thing that would sideline me would be being very sick, very hurt, or a stern and direct order from a coach or doctor. To take a day off was tantamount to treason to the pursuits of my goals. Taking a day off meant I was not being serious about my training. Taking a day off meant I was soft.
Typical type A bx I know, and this is one of the BEST reasons for working with a coach, at least for me. A structured training schedule with planned days off. If a pro tells me to take a day off I'd be remiss in my training if I failed to do that, right?
When Lucho and I started working together last fall, we decided that for the most part, Mondays would be my day off. I of course warned him that I was notorious for NOT taking days off so I was looking forward to that aspect of "the plan." He told me not to worry about it too much that soon I would be living just to make it to my days off. Let's just say the good man was not lying about that one; not lying at all.
A detail that I have not made public knowledge so much as there is just no nice way to write about without being bitchy, whiny, or just straight up pissed-off is that a few weeks ago my work schedule changed. Drastically. Not going to go into details as to why but it's a VZ thing and I will leave it at that. My schedule is now four ten hour shifts, 9p - 8a day with one starting Sunday night and day four ending Thursday morning.
It has made training a challenge. No, it has made just freaking living a challenge the past few weeks but it seems I have figured it out and am now able to function at least a little bit better. I have to say though I must have really looked like shit the first two weeks because every time that Melissa would look at me I felt like she was looking at a sick and dying man. I could just see the pity... lol.
Anyway a very important part of this transition and being able to survive it has been having Mondays as my day off from training. Monday morning is the end of my day one of the work week and as my scheme for getting through the week goes I just crash at the end of my shift and wake up whenever. It is so nice to not have to worry about cramming that workout in at the onset of the four, ten hour shifts. Not to mention, it is nice to have that day to sorta rest like it is supposed to be anyway. Give my bones, tendons, muscles, mind and connective tissues a break for once.
But my rest days now, regardless of my less than optimal work schedule are gold to me. Knowing that my rest day is out there is what gets me through the harder workouts on Friday, Saturday and Sunday because in any one of those workouts I will need that motivation to just keep it together and get to Monday.
I credit a lot of of other things for my quickened recovery between workouts and stuff this winter but I also realize that my day's off must be playing into it all of that also. If you throw in the days off with all the biking volume (minus the physical impacts of running) and it is easy for me to see why it is that I feel a lot better training this year than in the past. I also like being fresh or at least more fresh going into the first workout of the week be it a run or a ride. By the time I have time to get out and do the workout I am ready and anxious to just get out do anything. I think that is because I do take my days off seriously. I don' t try to sneak in extra volume or time, or miles... yeah I rode the single speed yesterday but I did everything in the world possible to make that not look like training... trust me.
The rest of my work days, I have been cramming my workouts in right after my shift so I can crash right after the run or the ride of the day and recover. As cumbersome as my schedule has been, this approach seemed to really pay off last week.
Typical me I am already looking past Leadman, sorta... You have to have a plan. I have been invited to come out for the JFK 50 and I might just do that. I have run the section of the AT from South Mountain to Harper's Ferry numerous times when I have been home and I love that run. It would be a solid opportunity for me to get a 50 mile PR too. Part of me wants to go back to weight lifting and indulging in that addiction for a while. That is another blog post upon itself. I just don't know, and and of course there is the ever elusive HR100 lottery... that could happen. Or not. Regardless of what I decide to do though I know that I will forever more be more observant of true rest days and take advantage of them as much as possible. I get it now.
The bike is in Denver! Might go and pick it up later this morning. We will see. It is super cold out and I don't think it will be warming up anytime real soon for my ride so I just might head up there in a bit. Stoked!
Last night was the first night of Passover! So this is sorta related. "Straight hood!"