I started back on a regular training plan (running, weights, stretching) on February 1st and while I feel great, I am also completely exhausted. Even as I write this post I am practically falling asleep and it’s only 5 pm. I have been a working mom since I had my first daughter 19 years ago and I never quite felt like this, at least that I can remember. I am forcing myself to push through the exhaustion and hit all of my workouts, even when I really don’t feel like doing them and I always feel better afterward.
I am ready to get back into peak running shape and my drive to push forward when I really want to achieve something is unstoppable. Even when I don’t feel great after a night out, I won’t let those feelings stop me from following my training. My drive is both a positive attribute and a negative one. On the positive side I will push myself to train even when I am exhausted. On the negative side I will push myself to train even when I am exhausted. You see, it is a double edged sword because I will push myself even when I shouldn’t which is what has led to me to injuries in the past, just like the one I am now recovering from and I do not want to make that mistake twice.
So the question becomes when do I push through the exhaustion and when do I rest?
I wake up for work at 4:45 am and after working today I left exhausted. When I got home I changed into my running clothes and headed out for my 2 miler without taking a second to sit down or think because if I did, I wouldn’t have gotten up. I felt good after I ran, but it definitely wasn’t the best run I had in the past few weeks. I felt like I was dragging myself through it. Now, I know it’s normal for some runs to be good and some runs to suck. My question is did this run suck because I was exhausted or because my endurance just isn’t up to par yet? I am going to go with endurance.
As I write this post I am really trying to get to the root cause of my exhaustion and even tough it started when I started working out regularly again, I just don’t think it is actually the working out that is causing it which is why I do continue to push through my workouts. I really believe it comes down to getting up a 4:45 am 4-5 times a week for work, nutrition, and alcohol.
Early wake up. I am an early bird at heart. Usually a 5:30 am wake up call is a breeze for me, but 4:45 am is another story. There is such a huge difference in the way I feel getting up at 4:45 and at 5:30. Those 45 minutes make all the difference in the world. Right now I need to get up at 4:45 so I can get to work and get home in time to get my daughter off the bus, so that is not likely to change just yet. It is not about time asleep wither because according to my Fitbit I sleep an average of 7 hours and 30 minutes a night, that’s pretty damn good.
Nutrition. My nutritional intake is not the best. I am working on cleaning it up, but I definitely could do better. I am trying to eat more whole, healthy foods. I pack my lunchbox full of easy to eat “snacks” that I have throughout the day while working like my egg white veggie muffins (yes I eat them cold), yogurt, Sargento balanced breaks, Suja juice and Simply Snackin.
I have also started taking supplements to help me get the vitamins and minerals I need.
Alcohol. Alcohol is the bane of my existence. I love it. I love the feeling it gives me when I have had a few. I don’t love the weight it has put on my body. I don’t like that my inhibitions are lowered. I don’t like all the food I eat when I have alcohol. I don’t like the restless sleep it brings or the morning after headache. For the most part alcohol does nothing for me or my goals. I also think it definitely interferes with my weight loss goals and my productivity. I don’t drink every night, but it has become a routine weekend beverage and of course we have wine down Wednesday.
What is my plan?
My training will remain the same because that is what I need to get myself back into peak running shape. My sleep patterns cannot change at this time so the 4:45 am workday wake up call will be around for a few more months. As far as nutrition goes, I plan to clean my diet up by eating more homemade wholesome foods and limiting my restaurant meals to twice a week. On the alcohol front I plan to limit my intake to twice a week and cap it off at 2-3 drinks.
I am hoping by implementing these small changes this exhaustion will pass. Only time will tell.
Any tips on how to beat exhaustion?
Disclosure: I received Simply Snackin samples to try free of charge. All opinions are my own. Any links to Amazon are affiliate links which help support this blog!