The unplanned rest week

I hate the phrase “stress is stress”. It’s like one of those annoying quotes that used to be reserved for being stitched on a pillow or depicted in embossed pink ribbon script handwriting on women’s health journals that now are plastered on every influencers instagram page.

And like it’s equally annoying siblings “you can’t outrun a bad diet” and “food is fuel”, the phrases themselves aren’t wrong, but they can get in the bin!

Historically I’ve always been a proponent of the ethos of using running as a mental health tool. It was good for stress management, staying focused and not stewing on things that had already happened and I couldn’t change. Pissed off, go running, scared shitless, go running, ready to burn the world down, go running.

In December 2021, I DNF’d at Surf Coast Century. A massive and first of many DNF’s for me.

I posted this to Instagram in the days after

The two weeks leading into that race was pure and utter chaos. It was high work stress, away from home, living in a shitty motel, eating rubbish and running to keep the stress, nerves and weight at bay.

With the 2023 Surf Coast Century in just one weeks time, I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. I wanted to keep the calm and fan the stoke.

As I’m writing this it’s Saturday morning and I’ve only logged 17km of running and a 4km dog walk. That’s three running rest days instead of the usual one and no I’m not remotely worried or concerned about it. I can’t loose fitness in those few days but I can completely break myself.

So I’m trying to be smart, for once.

This week was mental chaos. There was a lot going on and I didn’t want to add more fuel to the fire by piling easy runs on top of it.

I think there’s a bit of a mental game here, a switching of mind sets. I used to think the running helped, that it was a positive edition to the chaos, somehow helping to calm or control it. But now I know it’s just turning a high wind day into a full blown cyclone.

There’s still a week to go, still time to fuck it up.

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