Workout Burnout

Wowza.  Burnout is a slight understatement.  Remember 2 weeks ago when I took a week off (COMPLETELY off!) from working out?  Last week I gradually eased into my previous workout schedule.  Seriously, I eased into it.  I didn’t jump back in at 115%.  I was kindler and gentler to my body and my mind.  I felt great.  Sore, but great.  This week I had 2 great workouts on Sunday & Tuesday.  But yesterday’s “easier” circuit training left me mentally exhausted and on the couch all day.  What’s my deal?! Could I really be suffering from a serious case of burnout?  Physical AND mental.  Mostly mental since I’ve been EASILY talking myself out of hitting the gym in the morning.  Granted, I’ve been dealing with some calf muscle tightness and shin splints that might be bringing me down just a bit.  But, really.  I’m only 1 week into my 16-week training for the Air Force Marathon in September.  I’m typically over-zealous my first few weeks of training…hmm…

Maybe I’m in a backslide of sorts.  Normally my mind would be going through some serious freak outs for missing a workout.  But my mind has been really polite to my body for the last few weeks  and has been saying weird things like “Hey! You look great!” instead of “Hm…could use a little work here and here…”.

Have any of you experienced a workout burnout like this?  This is foreign territory to me…

Memorial Day

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day, even if the only enjoyable part of your holiday was the extra day off 🙂

Memorial Day is a big deal for my family and my hometown.  Alton, IL boasts the oldest consecutive Memorial Day parade, starting in 1868.  It takes place in the “uptown” portion of Alton, known as “Pie Town”.  The women of Alton used to bake pies in Upper Alton for the Civil War soldiers passing through so the name stuck.

Here’s a few pictures from the parade a few  years ago (2010).  We didn’t go this year – just not feeling it.  Maybe next year!

Crowded!  Always a town-pleaser.

Crowded! Always a town-pleaser.

Summer Fall 2010 019 Summer Fall 2010 020

Local VFW

Local VFW

Summer Fall 2010 022

More family :)

More family 🙂

Family.  In our normal parade- watching location

Family. In our normal parade- watching location

Two of my favorite people.  Always silly.

Two of my favorite people. Always silly.

Summer Fall 2010 026

What did you do to celebrate Memorial Day?


I’m a few months behind with this one, but this survey popped up on a few blogs I read and I finally felt like joining in.  I’m always a little behind with trends anyway, so this should be no different 🙂

Current Book(s): I just finished The Senator’s Wife last night.  It wasn’t an amazing book, but I breezed through it this week.

I’m still  in the middle of Slow Death by Rubber Duck.  Since it’s more scientific, it’s definitely a type of book to read a few pages at a time instead of huge chunks in one sitting.  But I still find it interesting and informative.

The book I’ll crack open tonight was recommended by (and currently being bored from) one of my graduate assistants: This Much I Know is True.
One of her tasks was to let me borrow some of her favorite books and this one came highly recommended.  Our town’s book resale/trade-in shop is reopening tomorrow.  I never thought that would make me as excited as I am!

Current Music: Aside from my running playlist, I’ve been digging my No Doubt & Maroon 5 Pandora stations.  Sometimes when I’m getting ready for work I’ll play my Dixie Chicks station.  Funny how certain locations change my music mood…

Current Guilty Pleasure:  I can’t look at these and not giggle.

Current Nail Color: Natural.  I never paint my nails.  I feel like mine are oddly shaped and I feel so awkward when they are painted.  Even if I would normally paint them, they wouldn’t be at present.  One fingernail is recovering from being chopped off while I was cubing sweet potatoes.  My toenails,  however, are painted with my favorite: Conquistadorable. Love that 🙂

Current Drink:  Water, coffee, Celestial Seasoning’s Blueberry Tea, or Panera’s Acai Berry Tea (so yum!)

Current Food: Almond butter, apple butter, and Kind bars. Can’t stop craving all 3.

Current Favorite Show:  The West Wing.  I just started the final season.  A big part of me doesn’t want it to end, but I’m dying to see how it plays out. I’m so obsessed with this show I feel like these characters are real.

Current Wishlist: Choco Peanut Butter Brownie Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

Obviously, since I’m dairy-free this will need to be consumed during a dairy-cheat-day and preferably on a long run day.  I know, you were expecting me to say “a new car” or “a Kindle”, weren’t you?  My life revolves around food, whether I can eat it or not 🙂

Current Need(s): I desperately need to clean my apartment.  I haven’t had a weekend since February where I can devote time to each room.  I don’t know how I don’t have a bug infestation.  Gross.  I also need a massage.  Now.

Current Indulgence: My $25 planner and 2 new pairs of running shoes.

Now that’s a sight for sore eyes 😉

Current Blessing:  Having a job & colleagues that I love, that challenge(s) me, that is applicable to my degree & my passions.  It feels good to have life figured out for a while. 

Current Outfit: Pajamas.  My favorite outfit ever.  A close second is any workout gear.

Current Excitement: 3 major life decisions coming into play in the next year: 2 marathons and starting a PhD program.  I’m nervous and dreading the exhaustion I know all 3 will bring, but I’m pretty excited for the challenges and feelings of accomplishment.

Rest, Recovery, Rejuvenate, Refresh

That’s my theme this week: rest, recover, rejuvenate.  Yep, I’m not working out at ALL this week.  You read that correctly, no need to grab your glasses.  Taking some much-needed R&R from working out.  A fitness regimen has become such a huge part of my day/life that I really feel like I’m on vacation.  I come home from work and feel like I have all the time in the world since I don’t have a crazy bedtime and when I wake up in the middle of the night for 1 of many trips to the bathroom, I easily fall back asleep because I know I don’t have to wake up for several hours (although, I have to psychologically trick myself and I’m not allowed to check the clock in the middle of the night, otherwise it’s a train-wreck of anxiety and sleep deprivation.  I learned that trick after I read The Highly Sensitive Person).

So what’s up with this about-face in my workout schedule?  Well, several things:

  1. I’ve been extra-tired lately.  I’ve had about 6 weeks of hard weekly workouts to build my mileage base & fitness level for my marathon training.
  2. Because I’ve been extra-tired, I haven’t been mentally “into” my workouts.  The time before and during my workouts are a mental tug-of-war.  But as always, afterward, I’m so glad I pushed through and started & completed the workout or run.
  3. I’ve been noticing a few “build up” pains, strains, and almost-injuries.  Sore calves, tight Achilles tendon, minor shin splints, etc. My body is blowing its whistle and saying “seriously, TIME OUT!”
  4. Even when I was sore from a solid workout, I felt whiny about the soreness…usually I have a “hurts so good” attitude and the soreness adds a bounce to my step because sore=progress.  So yeah, whiny Sarah is not a pleasant Sarah. Even Scout dislikes whiny me.
  5. Marathon training begins in a week or two.  I haven’t decided which week yet, I typically incorporate a 1 or 2 week cushion in case things come up (busy work week/weekend, needing to take a week off, being sick, etc.). It’s best to start a training program recovered and refreshed.

I’m pretty proud of myself for going cold turkey this week.  I normally panic and bargain with a hard bike ride or some other crosstraining to get my workouts in when I’m cutting back.  But, shockingly, I’m not experiencing any withdrawals at all.  It’s been a nice workout vacation 🙂

Latest Obsessions

My latest obsessions are a bit random and may even seem a bit “controversy theory” to some…Being as “clean” as possible.  No, not washing my hands 20x per day “clean”, but free of chemicals in my food and daily hygiene products “clean”.  I’ve talked before about striving for a clean diet each day.  This is a challenge because it seems as though EVERYTHING is processed and has ingredients I can’t pronounce.  For the most part, my daily diet is 75-85% clean.  The hardest part is supper – cooking with/planning a meal with someone that doesn’t eat clean but has similar health & fitness goals, especially when we’re too tired (or lacking enough creativity) to eat at home.  Even then, I try to eat items at our normal “healthier” places that I can “disassemble” so that the items (like salad dressing) that aren’t clean can be quantity-controlled by yours truly.

I have failed miserably at cleaning up my hygiene products.  I’ve been reading Slow Death by Rubber Duck:

I caught a special on Dateline NBC that talked about chemicals and “bad things” found in our everyday items: plastic utensils, tupperware, body wash, antibacterial hand soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.  Mind blown.  Last year I switched my travel coffee mug to a ceramic mug and started taking my lunch in small Pyrex containers so I wouldn’t microwave in plastic tupperware.  But this is a whole new level…try finding soap that doesn’t have the words “Parfum” or “Fragrance” listed in the ingredients…even Dove Sensitive Skin which is supposedly free of dyes and fragrances contains “Fragrance” (translated: Parfum or Fragrance are psuedonyms for pthalates, which have been scientifically linked to cancer over time).  Darn near impossible. Next time I’m at Trader Joe’s I plan to peruse the hygiene aisle…although I don’t want to smell like a hippie either.  Argh…

Scout finds it to be a dull read...

Scout finds it to be a dull read…

Other obsessions are food related:

KIND Bars, specifically the lower sugar options. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, and all-natural.  YAY for clean!

Cascadian Farms Organic Fruitful O’s cereal.  Seriously, it tastes like healthy Fruit Loops.  And only has 7 grams of sugar in 1 serving.

SO Delicious Coconut Milk Ice “Cream”.  My life can be happy again.  The 2 things I’ve missed the most since going dairy free: yogurt & ice cream.  I’ve tried several almond milk and coconut milk brand ice creams in the last few months and have to limit myself to just a few bites because the fat & sugar content is much higher than I’d like for a daily treat.  FINALLY, my fancier grocery store started carrying 2 whole freezer sections of this brand AND there’s a “no sugar added” option.  Fabulous!  My favorite flavors: chocolate and mint chip, of course!

No Sugar Added Mint Chip

No Sugar Added Chocolate