Things have been majorly hectic lately what with moving to Dublin and it being Easter. I have been home for a few days this week but I am heading back to Dublin this evening.
I’ve continued to struggle with my workouts and how I feel in general. Almost every day I wake up and feel completely exhausted despite sleeping well. I ache all over, everything is a massive effort, and I literally have to haul myself out to exercise. I don’t feel better after I work out, and I’m not even enjoying it right now.
I’ve been looking through my workout log and have realized I have only taken 9 complete rest days since October, during this period I have completed 2 half marathons and the new rules of lifting for women-an intense 6 month strength training program. The last week or so I’ve been thinking about taking a break, but I feel so guilty if I even take a day off, I have no idea how I will cope with an entire week. It’s developed to the point now where it’s a bit of a compulsion, and I think that it’s become quite unhealthy in it’s own right.
I think this has been building for a while, I’ve felt rubbish since about a week after the Llanelli half marathon. I believe that this is due to the fact that I failed to listen to my body and the signs that it needed rest. I have been ignoring the signs for too long, and dragging myself to the gym and through long runs when I really don’t feel like it, and I am obviously doing a lot more harm than good. I feel dreadful, everything aches, my knee hurts, it’s an effort to walk up the stairs, yet I still force myself to get my workouts in.
I have realized that rest is vital, it’s essential and I think unfortunately this grand realization has come too late, and I am now suffering from being completely burned out. So it’s time to take a step back. This isn’t going to be easy, but I am going to do my best to shoot for the full week without exercise. It’s not like I will be sitting round doing nothing anyway, we have loads of unpacking to do, and my parents are coming to visit Dublin this week so we will be doing lots of walking and sightseeing. I will also be doing some low-intensity yoga to get a nice stretch. I will also be focusing on lots of high quality nutrition, and as many whole foods as possible (read green smoothies!) in order to give my body the best chance to heal and repair itself.
This has taken a lot for me to admit this to myself and to decide upon taking a break. I love working out, I love how I feel during it, I love how I feel after it, but that feeling has been lacking for some time now, and I’d like to get it back. Out of all the working out and events I’ve taken part in over the last 12 months this could actually prove to be my biggest challenge. I am determined to stick to it, and hope that it pays off, so that I can return to working out (when I feel ready) refreshed and able to enjoy it again.
Have you ever taken a complete week off your workouts?
Do you listen to your body or are you guilty of ignoring it when it’s telling you to rest?