Too much exercise

Yes, I did count the one hour of ice skating as a workout because I was holding our 4-year old just like this for the entire time!  I nearly passed out with exhaustion!

Yes, I did count the one hour of ice skating as a workout because I was holding our 4-year old just like this for the entire time! I nearly passed out with exhaustion!

Is it really possible to exercise too much?  Yes, I think so.  I answer this question based on my own experiences during the month of January.  You see, my number one goal for the month should have been to focus on my triathlon training.  Instead, I was sidetracked by a little competition.  I tried to do both, but my need to compete always seemed to overpower logical reasoning.

The competition involved tracking your total number of workouts for the month of January.  Of course these had to be real workouts that lasted for a minimum of 30 minutes.  I only considered real workouts those that involved an elevated heart rate.  As mentioned in my last post, I couldn’t even succeed at a simple walk.  Luckily for me, my triathlon training involves running, swimming, cycling and weight training.  So, I focused on those 4 types of workouts for this competition.

Typically, my training does involve more than one workout per day.  For example, on Mondays I always follow-up an interval swim with a bike ride.  On Wednesdays I need to do a ride followed by a run.  On days that I go to the gym, I always do at least 2 workouts because I have 2 hours (thanks to childcare) so I typically do a swim or run followed by weight training.  However, there are days that I will do my long ride or my long run and may  not include another workout.  Additionally, I am SUPPOSED to take one rest day.

Well, there were times during this competition when I only did one workout in one day.  That was not sufficient for my competitiveness so I was forced to do three workouts on other days.  Usually I would add-on a weight training session on these days.  During the entire month of January I NEVER took a day off.  I didn’t want to have to play catch up on another day.  And, all of a sudden, my goal changed to beating the number of workouts  of last year’s winner: 60!  I wanted at least 61.  But 61 didn’t seem like a lucky number so I opted to aim for 62 if I could.

So, I did it.  I got my 62.  Not sure what that means.  Some people think it means I am a bit of an overachiever or maybe just slightly crazy.  It sure as heck doesn’t mean I am hardcore.  If anything, maybe less smart than usual.  I did sign up to complete a 1/2 Ironman in May and I nearly overtrained myself.  Worse case scenario, I could have injured myself.  Stupid competitive nature.  Why can’t I be a soccer mom and find solace in bringing the best snacks to the games or driving the most fabulous minivan?  Okay, I know you are laughing now.  I would never own a minivan.

Oh, and I have no idea whether I even made the top 5.  I know I don’t really win anything, but bragging rights would actually make this all worth it.  Okay, there is always March Madness.  Yeah, I better not even mention that right now.

You know what pisses me off the most about all of this?  I didn’t even lose more than half a pound!  Seriously people.  I must have consumed whatever calories I burned.  And that’s a lot of freakin’ calories.

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It’s not a secret…

My ride up to Red Rocks

It’s not a secret that even the seemingly motivated people are often unmotivated.  That doesn’t mean that they always give in to these feelings, though.  They have to work to overcome these feelings just like anyone else.  I don’t know if people see me as motivated.  Sometimes I feel like a blob on the couch as I scan t.v. stations at night.  Occasionally I cook dinner in the microwave or order take out instead of actually using the stove or oven.  Once in a while, I lay on the floor as my kids pile books and toys on top of me  while I think about how I should be teaching them how to read and write.   I’m not quite the model citizen here.

But, you know what?  I have the special ability to fight and overcome.  Maybe it has something to do with how I was raised.  My life was never picture perfect and I always had to be strong in order to stay intact.  If I want to do something, then I will get it done.  However, I can’t fight all of the time or else I would be too exhausted.  I guess I kind of have to pick my battles.

For me, staying physically fit and healthy is very important to me.  If I am not running, biking or swimming, then I am not happy.  If I am not happy, then I can’t make my family happy.  If I become a stick in the mud, then I become depressed.  If I become depressed then I lose all motivation to do anything.  It is a vicious cycle, I know.  So, in order for me to stay motivated in all areas of my life, I have to run, bike or swim.  Sure, I might be extra tired from a 20-mile run, but I actually have more energy when I stay moderately active.  I do more chores later in the day when I have gone to the gym in the morning.  If I don’t exercise, then I tend to sit around all day and nothing gets accomplished.  I really can’t explain it, but I know what works for me.

A few people might say that it appears as though I put my fitness priorities before anything else, including my family.  But these people are far from correct.  I have to take care of myself in order to take care of my family.

Yet, it’s no secret that I feel unmotivated at times.  I felt so tired before my ride today and I tried to use the crazy wind as an excuse.  However, I knew that if I didn’t ride then I would only feel worse.  Once I got on my bike and reached the top of our hill, I was a changed person.  I wasn’t tired anymore and I was eager to head up the mountain even though I knew it would be hard work.  I came home in time to help with dinner and even get a few chores done.  I have my moments, but I know the consequences for not following through.