Recovery is my Friend – and my Enemy

I  know for a fact I’m not the only one who feels that days of recovery (days “off”) suck!  Most people reading this know me, and probably know me pretty well!

I go 100mph at all times.

To some degree, I can’t help it!  It’s part of who I am.  I take after my father in this regard and it’s one of his qualities I admire the most.  My dad is 65 years old, still works full time, travels every week, on weekends he’s home he’s doing yard work for 8 hours a day – just the same as he did when he was 45 years old!  If he’s not working, he’s sleeping.  Just like me!  Also contributing to my 100mph speeds is my insanely busy life that I have developed practically overnight.  With coaching 13 athletes, working full time, 10-17 hours a week of my own training, having dogs, etc etc etc, most of the time, I don’t have a choice but to go 100mph at all times or a lot of stuff wouldn’t get done!

I have no doubts that Stacey would tell you I am a tough person to coach.  Not from a “not do my workouts” perspective, but because of this all-over-the-place lifestyle I have.  One day I’m teaching spin class, the next day I have to ride with a client, I’m running a marathon the next week, another day I have a bike crit, the following weekend I have 10k, and the next I have a 1/2 Ironman.  I think Stacey is experienced enough and in tune with her athletes enough to “manage” me in that department and be sure I’m physically prepared for all of my events.

What she is fighting me on is this whole concept of recovery.  I am fortunate enough to be an athlete who is not injury-prone and can handle pretty massive amounts of volume before I “crack.”  It takes a lot for me to raise my hand and say I’m tired.  As triathletes, we get in the routine of going hard…all the time.  Stacey’s biggest challenge, even more so than my all-over-the-place race schedule, is to make me slow down.

As a coach though, I get it.  I 100% force my athletes to take rest, do easy recovery workouts, take days off.   Then why is it so hard for me?  It’s hard first and foremost, because I LOVE to workout.  I would say I truly enjoy 95% of my workouts.  Yes, they hurt, but I do all of this nonsense because I love it!  It’s also hard because it becomes a habit.  It’s very very rare I don’t wake up and workout first thing in the morning.  The days I don’t (which are sometimes intentional), are “different”.  The endorphins and feeling that stays with you all day after a good hard training session can’t be replaced with chai tea lattes or a Bojangles biscuit…though all delicious!!

Stacey has taken to planning “homework” for me on my days off.  And I will abide 100%.  I will take today off, even though my body isn’t screaming at me to rest.  This morning, my alarm wasn’t set until 7:45 am.  I woke up at 7:15 on my own and rather than get up, sweep the floor, do 6 loads of laundry, clean out my closet, re-arrange my pantry and take my dogs to play – I opted to lay in bed till my alarm went off!  Tonight, I am instructed to read in silence for 30 minutes, something non-triathlon related, with my dogs.  It’s a pretty typical night for me actually (I read a ton before bed), but tonight I will take it to heart as true recovery for my hard-working body.

I pay a coach for a lot of reasons, but most importantly for me, much of the reason is for my coach to tie me down and tell me to CHILL OUT!  And thank you Stacey for not killing me, yet!

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