Thursday, March 22, 2012
I May Be Over-doing It
Mondays are my most difficult days. I lift weights in the morning for 30-45 minutes, then run 3 miles over my lunch break, and finally play basketball in the evening. This past Monday I through a couple of extra movements into my weight training. I hadn't worked my chest much recently, so I threw in some bench presses and incline bench presses for good measure. The extra maneuvers had a big effect on my ability to finish all of my reps as I neared total muscle fatigue.
My midday run was without incident, and when I showed up for basketball there were only 8 players so we played 2 straight games of 4-on-4 for an hour. When the final game ended and people started heading home, I was a bit disappointed because I felt like playing a little bit more. However, when I got home I was exhausted! Then I started to feel really "out-of-sorts", like I could not get my thoughts together and was sort of wandering around. I figured my blood sugars were pretty low after the exercise, so I drank some energy drink and ate a bagel with cream cheese. I felt somewhat better, but was still not back to normal.
I went to bed that night and when the alarm went off the next morning I was ready to skip my Tuesday workout. Immediately, the guilt began to set in and I was out of bed a few minutes later getting ready to workout. I jumped rope for 10 minutes, jogged a mile to the high school track, did 15 broad jumps, ran three 200m dashes, ran the stadium stairs, did my pull-ups and dips, then jogged the mile back home. Again, I was tired but did not experience the same disorientation as Monday night.
It was Bubba's birthday and I had taken the day off of work to help celebrate. So I immediately began preparing breakfast, ate, showered, and soon we were on the road to Bloomington for some family activities. By 1 o'clock, I was exhausted again! I was yawning so frequently that Katie asked if she should drive home.
I switched up my routine and just did abs Wednesday morning, just give me a bit of a break, and ran my 3 miles over lunch. After returning home from work and working on the new garden with my neighbors, I could hardly keep my eyes open last night.
So, I looked up "exercise fatigue" today, and it turns out that I may be overdoing it. I am at least showing some of the signs of fatigue. I had complained earlier about my lack of speed, and that trend has continued throughout the spring. That is one symptom. Exhaustion is another. I haven't check my heart rate or blood pressure, but since the slower speeds feel just as strenuous, I can assume I am probably experiencing a bit of an elevated heart rate.
I have mostly been focusing on fueling my body during workouts, but the articles that I read indicate that muscle recovery with rest is vitally important as well. And that is the tough part for me. Exercise has become habit for me, and some of the new experiences like basketball and cross training have been successful and extremely entertaining. I can't imagine slowing down on any of them. In fact with a few bike rides on the schedule, I figured on throwing more cycling into the rotation. A friend of mine said that he runs 6 days a week and completes more than 40 miles a week when he is not training for any races; his mileage bumps up to 60 or 70 miles a week when he is training for a marathon. I am not anywhere close to that kind of time or mileage. How come I am having so much more trouble than he?
Life is always a balancing act, and I feel like a do a good job of dividing my family time with my exercise. My fitness time is some of the only time I get for personal endeavors. I don't want to give that up, nor do I want to feel exhausted much of the time. I have to find that sweet spot where my workout are increasing my fitness, but not overly taxing my body. I am not sure where that sweet spot is, nor do I know if I will ever find it. But I can tell you for sure that I could really use a nap.