It's amazing what a difference a little exercise makes. Night and day. I have been feeling so much better. I think I've found my natural Prozac. I've decided to schedule laid-back workouts during future R&R weeks, like many of you suggested (thanks!), which will prevent depression, lethargy, and fitness loss. However, I will take 2-3 days off, which will be scattered evenly throughout the week to allow tissue repair and muscle rebuilding. But instead of taking 3-4 days in a row off, I will schedule smaller, lighter intensity workouts to maintain fitness and sanity. This will prevent the crappiness I felt last week, the loss of fitness I've felt for this week, and the battle with inertia to resume full training the following week.
Monday was definitely a fight with inertia day, and unfortunately, inertia won. Somedays, I have the worst late afternoon slump at lab. I feel like I'm going to die if I don't take a nap. Unfortunately, there's not a really good place to sneak off to and nap here, otherwise, I'd be set. I'm a big believer in siestas. I wish more Americans would agree (especially fanatical, overzealous, workaholic scientists). I came home from lab completely exhausted, and spend the rest of the night moping because I was too beat up to work out. However, I'm pretty sure it was mental exhaustion and not physical. I can't figure out why some days I feel like such crap in the late afternoon/early evening period, and others, I feel just fine. I really want to figure out what makes all this tick so I can make the high-energy phenomenon happen more often.
Tuesday, I woke up late despite my best efforts to do a morning workout and felt so crappy that I took a mental health day from lab. I got to spend a day as a pro-triathlete. I had a nice, balanced breakfast and lifted weights. Had a post-workout snack and took a nap. Woke up, stretched and got on the bike. Jason and I went for a fabulous ride up the coast. The ocean was a real show-off. Bright blue, gentle waves, very clear. I love the smell of sea salt as I ride. I was able to get into the aero position for a solid 40 minutes or so and loved every minute of it (although my shoulders were a bit sore afterwards). I felt strong, focused, and fluid. The ride totally revitalized me. We stretched afterwards and ran errands (okay, that last part is un-pro-triathlete-like, I guess. They probably have someone to run errands for them so they can stay off their feet). We had a great sushi dinner and fruit. Follwing this, I made chocolate chip cookies, which was the best indulgance. We also gave each other mini massages to relieve our achy shoulders after our ride.
Wednesday--We had way too many cookies (3 dozen) so we gave a dozen to our elderly neighbors and a dozen to my coworkers at lab. It was so cool to see the expression on our neighbors' faces! I have to remember to spontaneously give people things more, even if it's just a smile; it makes me feel so good!
I had a great day in lab after a revitalizing Tuesday. Very productive--more so, I think--than if I had slogged through Tuesday. I enjoyed a deep tissue massage that evening (much needed) and somehow motivated ourselves to get to the pool for a master's workout. I really didn't want to go. The temperature really drops at night here! 70s during the day, 40s at night. Brrrr. Where's my indoor pool? The outdoor pool was heated, however, and it felt good to get in and just swim. There was a lot of steam coming off the surface. That's kind of neat. I swam a little too hard and got kind of naseous at the end. No more nuts and chocolate chip cookies for a late afternoon snack. Ugh. Plus, I felt a little more sluggish than usual after taking most of last week off (won't make that mistake again). But I was happy we did it. Plus, having a sweatshirt and jacket at the poolside made getting out into the biting air bearable. Yes, to all you other non-So-Cal people out there--I'm totally a wimp.
Thursday--Wednesday night, I laid out all my clothes, set up my bike, made my lunch, and packed my bags so I could get going. I didn't want to wake up early this morning but remembering how much effort I had put into laying everything out last night motivated me to get up. I didn't want to waste all those good intentions! Gotta remember that for next time. Got up, fed the buns, and got on the bike for an 80 minute Spinerval Base Building DVD workout. It was tough at first but I actually got a second wind halfway through. Listening to my iPod helped too. I had to stop in the middle because Babs decided she wanted attention and made a headlong dash for the pedals (she did this twice; domesticated bunnies aren't all that clever sometimes). To avoid slicing her head off, I stopped, shouted, and swatted at her, to which she responded by freezing in horror. This just made me feel bad. Jason came and helped scooch her away. Afterwards, I had to give her extra kisses but she seemed to have gotten over the traumatic affair.
I bike commuted into lab, which was awesome! I missed my commuter bike. Trying to put in another productive day!