I Shoulda Taken a Week Off!

Leading up to Race the River, I felt weary. My training got messed up because of transportation issues and other things out of my control. Although my 10-week half-marathon training program was scheduled to start the day after Race the River, I told myself I’d take the week off.

I took two days off. Last Thursday, four days after the race, I nearly bonked on my commute home. I credited the bonk to everything except exhaustion: I’d eaten chicken about 90 minutes before the ride – all protein, no carbs. I was riding in old running shoes rather than bike shoes, so my position on the bike was weird. It was about 100°F when I started, and I’m usually comfortable in that heat, but it hasn’t been as hot here this summer. Fortunately, I had an ounce of Belly Flops with me, so I got some sugar into my body quickly.

At no point did I think, “Kim, you’re too tired to do this. Take a break.”

Last Saturday’s workout was a 5-mile run at endurance pace. I started off fine, but just two miles in I decided I’d walk the rest of it. It wasn’t as hot (low 90°s), but initial reaction was to blame the heat. My ponderings while walking the rest of my workout led me to conclude that I really should have taken that week off. Because the CFF Cycle for Life was just two weeks away, I decided I’d take two weeks off and spend that time on the bike.

I went out for a bike ride on Sunday. I didn’t have any well-defined goal except to ride for 2-3 hours. I needed to avoid parts of my usual route because of the Water Follies – the bike paths along that section of the river were closed – so I headed over to Richland. I knew I didn’t want to battle any hills, so I just pedaled around a bit. I rode for two hours, and that turned out to be perfect. I averaged 12.4 mph – not fast, but the right speed for that day.

I haven’t worked out since. The Nomad Trail Runners are running down at the State Patrol MTB trails today. I used my command voice when telling myself “NO!” and I wagged my finger. I’m not going. I will ride this weekend, and I’ll commute by bike a few times next week, too.

This hasn’t been easy. I’m eating more than I should, given my lack of exercise. But I’m doing a pretty good job sticking with my self-imposed rest. Although it’s pushing back my HM training, I believe it’s the right thing to do. I’m confident my body will be ready to go hard in that training. Because I’m running the Multnomah Falls Trail Run six days before my next HM, I intend to do a fair amount of endurance training on Badger Mountain. It’s half the elevation gain of Multnomah Falls, but it’s the best I can do around here.

Perhaps next time I will listen to my body a little sooner instead of waiting for it to scream at me.


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