Running Ragged in December

By: Cassandra Henkiel

It’s December and the holiday season is upon us in ATX.  With it comes the holiday spirit, shopping, parties & gatherings, traffic, the trail of lights, cooler temps and the frenzy. I just finished, what I’m calling my, 2013 December Social Marathon!

To give you some background, I am lucky if I commit to maybe two social engagements during the week.  I’m not anti-social, it’s due to how early I start work, the nature of my work and the training that I still get in, doesn’t bode well with going out a lot during the week. That’s just me. So, as I looked at my calendar after Thanksgiving and saw as of December 1st, I  had some kind of social outing every night for seven straight nights….WHAT, how the hell did that happened!?!  Mind you, only two nights were holiday events. Crazy as it seemed, not the Holiday Marathon.

I finished. Though, it certainly came at a price. Like any marathon, you’ll suffer plenty, though more if you don’t get in your training. Even going into this particular marathon I felt as though I was smart by pacing myself, hydrating & eating well, even tried to taper. I suffered, physically, and in the later week it was clear, I was under trained. I certainly pushed that envelope and paid for it. Don’t get me wrong, I made it through this social marathon and had fun along the way, though the combination of early work mornings, training in the cold, not on my normal eating schedule, later bed times.. kicked my ass.  I never have been a late night person and yeah, I know…I’m OLD. I had a few days of reprieve post-race, then had several more social events come up in this last week, two funerals (which brought friends into town) and a baby shower (quite the circle of life). Uh-oh, I thought I crossed the finish line…..did I have anything left in the tank?  Any of you know how you feel post marathon, would you want to go and get in a couple long runs in the weekend after?  Well, for some events, you just have to dig deep and gut it out and show up!! You just have too. I did and had no regrets.

Those last few events were as rough emotionally as those straight seven days were physically. It’s now the end of the week, Friday is my ‘easy’ run.  While on that run I felt ‘it’…my body hit it’s limit.  Nothing felt easy about that run; my legs were way heavy, my breathing was real labored, and I needed to stop & stretch a few times, I felt like complete crap.  I cut my run short and knew my body was toast.  Come Friday afternoon post nap….I was sick!! I was horizontal all weekend, feeling horrible fighting some kind of nasty crud that ended up in my chest.  I’m hoping to get out tomorrow for my first run in 3 days. I’ll be taking it easy…if I get out at all. I’ll see how I feel.

If I can help it, I won’t be signing up for any marathon like that again. I sure hope to shake this crud, so I’m not running ragged the rest of December. Plus, I have a plane to catch December 25th……now, it’s Christmas. Happy Holidays everyone!

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