Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Overtraining

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard"

A few of my family and friends have been on my case lately about overtraining, convinced that the reason I was having continued bleeding for about 5 weeks was due to my high activity levels. Of course, I’m going to argue with them because I'm hard headed, stubborn, and difficult. I am going to point out the fact that I am transitioning off a drug that had me in menopause for 6 months...right after a surgery to remove a disease that causes internal bleeding. I’m going to say all these things, even though I know they only want the best for me. I know the only reason they are saying anything is because they love me--because they saw me sick for so long and did all they could to help me and stand by me. I wouldn’t have been able to complete the treatment without my amazing family and friends.

Y’all, please forgive me for thinking I've got it all figured out--but I really, truly believe this time around is different with my training.

Yes, I understand that high stress and activity levels have an impact on my hormone levels, but I honestly don’t believe my training is causing the excess bleeding.

And neither does my doctor.

HOWEVER....

I AGREE EVERYONE DOES HAVE A REASON TO GET ON MY CASE.

I will admit that I do have a slight addiction to training. My workouts for the day are the first thoughts on my mind when I wake up...and the last thing I fall asleep to. If I could go 24/7 running, biking, and swimming--I would. No doubt about it.

I never thought in a million years that I’d be swimming, loving it, and training for a half-ironman. Six months ago, I would have thought someone was crazy just to suggest a sprint triathlon because of my fear of water...and lack of interest. I didn’t think I’d find such excitement in this sport. I couldn’t even comprehend the idea of loving to race and competing against others. Yet somehow, through coaching and encouragement, I have absolutely fallen in love with training for triathlon.

I used to just run, run, run for fun. I’d train for a marathon just because I enjoyed it. I had no point to my training but to go, go, go, and stop only when I absolutely had to. I would bike for hours as well--not for any particular reason but to have something to do that I enjoyed. I wouldn’t even map out my rides. I’d just take some cash, water, and my iphone and head out on my bike. Then 50, 80, 150, or 173 miles later...I’d end up back home. There was no method to the madness. There was no plan. Even though I’m a trainer, I failed to limit myself and set up structure in my work outs. It’s a lot easier to tell someone else what to do (or not to do) than myself. I preach rest and recovery, but I do have a problem doing it myself. Heck, even with an 18 hours of training scheduled this week, I’m still hitting up the pool a little extra for some “play time”. Just a little extra though...promise (half the time I’m just getting a tan and pretending to swim anyway).

So, after I have worried everyone to bits and pieces with my rambling, let me just say...

IT’S OK.

I’M OK.

I know that I have gone overboard in the past, but I am not in that place anymore in my life. I have a reason for each workout and a goal to hit. I have a coach who limits my hours and plans my recovery days. I am no longer free to run in the morning for 10, 15, or 20 miles just because. As much as I hated this structure and being told what to do and when to train at the beginning, coaching has helped me in tremendous ways. I need to be told when to stop. I need to be told why I need rest and recovery. Yes, I already know the reasons, but I need someone to keep me in check. My coach is doing just that--and I’m listening...pretty much. ;-)

With all that being said, I agree that it makes sense why my family and friends are worried about me overtraining now. They know me. They know how I’m wired and how I push myself. They know my tendency to go until I can’t go anymore. When they hear about how I’m still bleeding, logically they think it’s because I’m pushing myself too much, too hard, and too fast.

I promise, I’m not.

I promise, promise, promise.

This week is a crazy 18 hours of training, but then I have a low week. My coach literally had a talk with me last week to prepare me for the drop in my training hours coming up. He was telling me to prepare myself mentally. Oh lawdy, I am definitely trying to prepare...while sucking out every ounce of this 18 hour week that I possibly can.

So, family & friends, I know that you mean the best. I know that y’all love me and want me to stay healthy, but don’t worry, k?

I promise I’m being good now. :-)

Oh...and the bleeding has stopped...finally.

Even after the 17 hours of training last week.


2 comments:

  1. 17 hours is a huge week. You're putting in the time, just make sure that that time doesn't result in an inverse relationship with your performance. It can!

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  2. Thanks Mark! I definitely need to be aware of how it affects performance as well. My running has been super slow the past couple of weeks since coming off a sprained ankle for 3 weeks. My bike has become stronger during the injury though, so maybe I'm making up for it that way? Before my last few weeks of high hours (roughly 12 before the 17 week), I was tapered down to 8 or so for a race (and due to injury). My body doesn't feel worn down at all. Muscle soreness some, but not broken down. I wonder if my performance is being hit with my high hours lately--which I'm sure is possible.

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