During the holiday season, it’s easy to let yourself get run down. I’m pretty much the poster child for running my body into the ground, though during 2012, I made a conscious effort to not do that, and I’d say it worked out pretty well, even with running 6 half marathons this spring and a myriad of other races. I stayed relatively healthy, and even when I did catch a cold, it never really turned into a full blown cold. Mostly just sniffles. Not fun, but not too bad.
Sometimes, that meant making tough decisions. More than once, I had to cancel plans because my body was crying out for rest. I should have planned ahead better and maybe lightened my workouts so that I would be able to go out with friends, but now I have a better idea of how my body handles certain stresses and what I need to do better next time.
It also meant that my workout log makes it look as if I was a total slug last week. The only workout I did was running a five mile race on Saturday. Of course, I also had three long choir rehearsals, two choir concerts, a week of 9+ hour days at work, and all the commuting that goes along with all of these things. I was barely home last week. Getting home after 11 and then leaving for work before 7 doesn’t leave for a lot of free time. So instead of getting up an extra hour (or more) early, I opted to sleep. I was still struggling, and the nights without choir, I cooked a few meals so I would have food to eat over the coming days and then I went to bed early.
But I came out of the week healthy. Tired, but not sick, which is what I wanted. So the lesson is to make sure that I find balance. Do what I have to do, then figure out when I can do what I want to do. Workouts fall on the line between things I have to do and things I want to do. They’re not quite as important as sleep and healthy eating, and unfortunately, I have to choose my job over working out (it’s how I pay for my running habit, after all). But they come first after all the “have tos” are done.
So the lesson here is to make sure that you take care of yourself during this busy time – and during the whole year. Try to eat well, or at least eat balanced. Get plenty of rest. Drink your water. And workout when you can.