When I was in high school, during my senior year, I went through a tough spell. It started when me and my best friend got in a huge fight and stopped talking (for what ended up to be two years) and everyday I went to school, I would just be sad and crying and withdrawn. So I started calling my mom to come and get me from school, and take me home for half the day. Eventually, I just stopped going at all. Each morning I would wake up and ask my mom for a "Mental Health Day," and because she knew I was in a bad place, she would let me stay home. Of course, when they threatened not to graduate me for so many missed days, my gig was up and I had to go back, regardless of how depressed I was.
This morning was one of the those mornings I wish my mom could have called me in "sick" to the pool, allowing me a mental health day from my laps and drills that seemingly mocked me as soon as I stepped foot on the pool deck. Larry met me there, as usual, and we waited for some lanes to open, but then once in the pool it took me almost 10 minutes to actually put my face in the water. Once I did, I made it 400 yards, or ten minutes, and just got out. I wasn't feeling it. Not today.
Now this has happened once before, where I just quit the swim. But I have to say, terminating any workout sucks, because it just makes me feel like such a loser.
Moreover, this knee thing is nagging still from yesterday, and there is nothing more mentally defeating them waking up with the pain of the day before that you had hoped a good night sleep would cure. Not so much this morning. So I was already mentally out of the game as soon as my feet hit the floor of the side of my bed. Literally.
I am getting feedback that maybe I need to take a break, take a day off from the riding and running. And I could not agree more. But yet, that little M-Dot demon keeps yapping in my ear, "You can't stop now, only 58 days left - you want to finish this race don't you? An Ironman never quits and that's what your doing...get your ass on that bike and spin off some of those Starbursts you ate before bed last night!"
Why is it that I can't just admit I need to stop, take a break? The reality is that this training plan, which I adhere to 99.9% of the time (some strength sessions fall to wayside-oops) is tough on a body that has only logged a couple of marathons in her past. But yet it's almost like admitting defeat, or weakness to say, "Okay, no more for today." Do I fear I might lose some fitness by taking a day off? Am I worried that my coach might think I am whining and disapprovingly call my need for a break "another complication?" Is it that I fear quitting one training session will make it that much easier to quit the race? Is it all of the above? Yes, yes, yes and yes.
I think for today I might take someone else's advice outside my own, especially given that my own seems to get me in the most trouble. I think I might just take the day off, because with a five hour trainer ride coming up in a few days, I need all the rest I can manage. Thanks all for the feedback - I'm going to step outside my comfort zone and take it.