Blog #4: Overtraining and feeling guilty: September 15, 2008
I have a lot of topics to discuss about running that you all have provided, thank you! Some include, when does exercise become too much exercise (think exercise addiction.) How do you know when to run through pain--when do you just have to stop and say, enough? Running skirts, do they help, hinder or distract, or is it just a (cute) fashion statement? J What do you eat before, after or during a run…and does it really matter? What about lifting weights, does it really help? (I say yes!) But, my blog right now is about feeling guilty when you don’t run, and overtraining.
If I miss a day or two of running, I feel "out of sorts" and grumpy...not depressed…just kinda’ blah. I'll notice that I am moodier than normal, not as patient, and bark at people for no good reason. Heck, I even found myself, literally, barking back at a dog one day! LOL! What is wrong with me, am I doing too much? Overtraining? (Get ready for this next paragraph, as we may have to call in Socrates for some help. Hahahaha!)
I keep hearing the word, overtraining. What is overtraining? How do you know if you are overtraining? Besides injury, can overtraining really lead to the grumpiness I have been experiencing? Here is my conundrum. If you don't train, then you feel, blah. If you don't train you will never know what you are capable of accomplishing. This is my "train" of thought because I was a competitive ice-skater for more than a decade, skating 6 hours a day for 11 years. I competed in regional and national competitions; I hurt myself and pushed myself to extremes. I skated through pain, fatigue, hunger, and sickness, I even continued to skate even when I broke my tailbone on several occasions; I just learned to deal with it…this was just something that came with the territory. So, you see, it is my nature not to question when I am feeling, “less than stellar, “ or in pain—unless I'm in a world of hurt and can't continue. Could it be that when I was younger, I didn't realize what overtraining meant? Was there such as thing as training too much? Is my body just not as adaptable because I am older? I don't know. All I know is that when I am grumpy I don't want to run or do anything…I just want to sleep. But when I get the rest I need and don’t run for a couple of days, I feel HORRIBLE, sluggish, guilty, fat, grumpy, icky, yucky and lazy. The other thing is, if I take a day or two off from running, then I will just push myself to go even farther or longer the next time—so, will this then lead to overtraining because I will finish my run even more tired than when I started-- which in turn will make me grumpy because I'm tired? Good grief, you see, this is where I am confused. LOL! Here is the other thing to ponder. I know research indicates that working out increases your serotonin levels—which are the mood enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. If this is the case about serotonin, how can you truly overtrain since working out makes you feel better?
It’s a vicious circle for me. It’s like the old adage, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” Or how about the commercial, “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” The world may never know! J
Bottom line, I’m tired and slightly grumpy…which could be due to overtraining—but taking a day or two off to sleep…due to overtraining…makes me feel guilty and grumpy. Whew! That makes me tired just thinking about it! LOL!
Anybody else feel this way? Maybe I am just thinking about it too much? I welcome your feedback and any solutions you may have. Until then, happy running! J