Mental Muscle Needs Recovery, Too!

Hello, friends!

When I wrote my race recap last week, I was just commencing my end of season break! 😀  There’s always a lull after a big race so that I have time to rest and recover but this was more than a lull.  For the first time since beginning my coach/athlete relationship with Dai, I didn’t have a training plan for the week.  I worked out three times, but only because I felt like it at the time… no sense of obligation.  More importantly than giving my body a rest (because I already do that at regular intervals), I gave my brain a break as well!

We were taught in our social psychology class that will power/self-control is very much like a muscle.  In order for it to get stronger, it must be exercised but just like other muscles, it also needs to rest periodically in order to benefit from the strain of exercise.  One of the areas in which I most frequently exercise self-control is my nutrition.  Since I was letting the ole self-control muscle take a rest, I spent the week on a binge of sorts.  I wasn’t exactly seeking out opportunities to eat poorly but I wasn’t forcing myself to say “no” when something presented itself.  This week, I consumed six beers, two glasses of wine, two biscuits, four pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin bread pudding, buttered mashed potatoes, two cream-filled donuts, two chocolate chip cookies, about a pound of no-bake cookies, brownies, cinnamon bunt cake, chocolate bunt cake, and… finally, some Cold Stone Creamery goodness. 😀


I realize this doesn’t look that pretty but this pumpkin bread pudding as probably the tastiest of all my splurges this week.


Mmmmmmm…. recovery Halloween donut… on “buy a donut day” no less!


And the grand finale!

While I enjoyed my fat-fest this week, the relaxed self-control was just about eating.  I let myself watch some stupid television.  If my alarm went off and I was still tired and didn’t have somewhere to be, I reset my alarm and went back to sleep!  It was a refreshing break but, after a week of eating junk and lazing around, I’m ready to get back into step with my healthy lifestyle.  I’ll still be enjoying treats, just in much more moderation.  I met with Jim White of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios today to discuss my nutrition for the winter season.  We’ll be upping the protein a bit and maying back off the carbs some since I’ll be doing less volume and more intensity for much of the time.  Dai and I met yesterday and firmed up goals for the next year.  I’ll be focusing on the goal of qualifying for the U.S. Age Group team, which means I will need to finish in the top 18 in my Age Group at Nationals.  It won’t be easy and I may not get there, but I’m going to give it go and enjoy the journey! 🙂

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