I was flying high last week only to fall on my face this week.
Looking back a few months I can honestly say that training has been going EXCELLENTLY since the first week in December. I kept it nice and easy in all of my workouts while building up time. Trying to build endurance and speed skills. Not speed, just speed skills. I feel that this step in my training was crucial and I was rewarded by feeling really strong in my proceeding workouts.
As time went on I built up my hours to a maximum of 12 weekly for now. In the past year I would suddenly find myself depleted of energy and motivation after a hard week or two of training. My new plan is, after each week with more than 8 hours hours I pull back to only 5-6 hours. This is my way of staying ON TOP of my rest needs rather than letting my rest requirements get away from me. Women in their forties can identify. This new plan has worked like a charm so far. I have been able to complete 95% of my planned workouts and I'm feeling solid.
As far as my racing was concerned I sprinkled in some really tough races in January and February. They were put there as training runs for the most part and partly to see where my fitness was (testing). I knew I would not get a lot of satisfaction out of them as far as the numbers were concerned but that was part of the plan.
I also signed up for a very short, less-than-important 10k this past weekend STRICTLY for fun. To enjoy the weekend with my mother and sister. We went out to eat Friday and Saturday night and did not hold back much in the way of gluttony. We all had at least 2 - 3 drinks both Friday and Saturday. In light of this you can see how unimportant this race was to me. I really went there to bond with my family. Not to race. To be honest I don't think I have ever entered a race with such carelessness in my entire life.
As soon as the gun went off I knew I wanted to change my plan to Race the Race rather than to waddle or dog it. So I did. I ran as I normally would run a 10k. Hard and as fast as I could. I felt great despite the rain and snow in our faces! All of the training I had done showed up at the race that morning and it felt SO GOOD. I ran the 10k in 42:13 (almost a PR by about 10 seconds).
High as a kite!
Until this week.
Monday - Took the day off to rest.
Tuesday - Spun easily for 60 minutes and did weighs for 20 minutes.
Wednesday - Could not get out of bed. Had a tweek in my back. Could not get motivated
Thursday - My back hurts me. I can not even workout. Another day off.
I have come to the conclusion that the race put a lot of stress on my body that I had not anticipated. I did not expect a little 10k to take so much out of me. Course I didn't even expect to race it.
Instead of keeping my planned hours at 12 this week I have to back off to do whatever I can manage and then up the hours next week.
Rest is as equally important as a tempo or a long run. As much as I plan in my rest breaks I never know exactly when that cummualtive effect is going to rush in and say "sit back down you fool."