Monday, January 16, 2012

Balancing Acts

Well, overall last week was a huge success.  The challenge for me lately has been learning to balance my ever fluctuating work schedule with my workouts.  With that in mind, I am really pleased with last week.  In spite of some mistakes, there was a lot to learn but in all, I was able to overlay a solid week of training onto a solidly busy work week.

I rode with MV, the cycling queen on Saturday and got myself into a bit of a deficit.  The night before had been really slow so I had gone to bed early and gotten up around 1:30.  That evening I ran before work, worked at a furious pace to get all of the horses braided by 6:30, then rode out at 7:15.  By the time I got home from the ride, it was 11:30.  It was the length of the day and the fact that I let myself get dehydrated that caused far more problems than the work-workouts combo.  That led to fitful, restless sleep and I created a deficit that I felt all night the following night.  Sunday, when it came time to head to the pool, I was mentally toasted, I accepted an invite to go out to dinner instead.  (While this is a bit out of character for me, a little bit of a social life is not going to kill me!)

I am now stuck making up a workout turning a relatively hard training day into a really hard one or accepting that a mistake cost me a valuable training session.  I don't think DW would demand that I make it up but I feel like I have let myself down if I don't.  There are times that I have to miss a workout and making it up is not an option.  Consequently, I don't want to miss one when it's only for social or laziness reasons, and especially when it is due to poor preparation or planning.  Consistency is like a savings account that accrues interest for future situations.  The more you string the days together, the more the whole becomes greater than the sum of it's parts.

Still, a certain amount of balance is necessary.

I realize that Sundays mentally are a tough day for me to train.  My brain and body want to let down after a hard week.  Training needs to happen on Sundays because there are often other days when I need to suspend training in favor of working like a beast but those days offer no mental (and little physical) relief. They are not really rest days.  I see this topic coming up in a future conversation with DW.  I am not sure how to handle it.  Intuitively, I know that constantly flogging myself is not the answer but also, I cannot always afford to take time off just because the going has gotten a little rough.

Balance.  It all keeps coming back to balance.  I feel I am walking a tightrope between the acrobatics of my work schedule and the consistent daily "grind" of my training schedule.  Two workouts, ten hours of physical labor, going to bed 23 hours later in a state of dehydration will never be a part of any successful equation, though, and guarding against that type of overload is paramount.  If I control the parts that I can, the workload will stay mostly manageable and rest days can include mental R&R, as well as recovery and sleep.

On another note, MV is truly inspiring.  Simply grabbing her wheel and trying to hang on was an education and motivation for me.  She is a consummate professional on a bicycle and absolute poetry in motion.

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