Taking a short break has been the hardest thing to do….

I have had a mega couple of weeks of training.  Clocking up over 80 miles consistently, and in the first five days of last week I covered nearly 90 miles, 31.25 of which were in the sand dunes in Wales in a desert training session.

Sand Dune Training at Merthyr Mawr

I woke up on Friday just feeling a little bit off and after a quick chat with my coach he told me to stop everything and take a short break for a couple of days.

In the lead up to that point I had noticed a few other changes.  Emotional, teary, unable to cope with the mundane challenges that are normal in anyone’s day to day life; short tempered, struggling to concentrate and unable to make simple decisions.

All this, of course, is fairly obvious to being well on my way to over doing it but at the time it is easy not to notice these things.

I am notoriously hard on myself.  My mentality has always been that giving up is a sign of weakness.  It is too easy to say, ‘not today’, ‘no’, or ‘maybe another time’, and I hate opening the door to these excuses.  I believe, once you succumb to these gremlins then these weakness are all far too easy to welcome again. I know that this is something I need to work on.

On Friday, I was given a stern talking to.  My coach, the notorious Rory Coleman who has a huge experience of all things ultra and marathon, who I 100% trust in every way, told me to pull back, take a short break, enjoy the weekend and hit the training plan come the following week, only if I felt up to it.

With a cold sore brewing, a very sore mouth ulcer, feeling completely exhausted and the start of a sore throat I knew he was right.  Suddenly my bank holiday weekend seemed the perfect opportunity to get things right and pull back.

So, I skipped my Saturday run (which should have been a 10 mile with a fast parkrun thrown in the middle), went up to Cryozone in Shrewsbury, for some much-needed whole body cryotherapy (which I can’t recommend enough) and managed to get a table at my local favourite fish restaurant and even managed to get a potential sponsor to share the lunch with me.

Whole Body Cryotherapy at -78 degrees Celsius

Beautiful fresh lobster and fabulous steak, followed by glasses of sparkling water sat in the sun at The Quayside, was just what the doctor (or in my case, Rory) had ordered. I returned home to my compression boots and a date with Tom Cruise in the Top Gun Maverick film, which I have to say, capped off a tremendous Saturday.

Lobster and Steak at The Quayside, a rare treat on my Short Break from Training

I fell into bed and woke up a whopping 10 hours later.  Normally a very early riser (4am) I was astounded to see it was 9am as I woke up on Sunday morning.  I obviously needed it! Resisting the urge to don my trainers I set out on a nice long walk with the dogs before tackling the overdue deep clean of the house that I had lacked the energy for in the previous days.

I also managed to get in a sauna session (in my Firzone pop up tent/sauna), mow the lawn, bath the dogs as well as getting the normal work admin in.  Another good night’s sleep put me right for my normal wake up call at 4am this morning, irrespective of it being a bank holiday Monday.

Back to it with a weight session and a spin on my CAROL bike before heading back to Cryozone in Shrewsbury for another whole-body cold therapy session on Monday morning.  A new zest in my step I got home and tackled the inside of my car, with an energy I hadn’t felt in a long time.

The cold sore gone, mouth ulcer healed and sort throat abated, I think I pulled back at just the right time, with huge thanks to my coach Rory.  It feels like an age since I put the running trainers on (4 days in total) but hoping that in the morning I’ll be bouncing off the road.

All sights set on a good time at Cheltenham half marathon on Sunday and I can’t thank Rory enough for stepping in with sound advice just at the right time. Phew. If you want to learn more about Rory and his coaching then details can be found at the link: Coleman Coaching – Homehttps://colemancoaching.co.uk/

I thought my short break would be turmoil, but in fact it was welcome and I can’t wait to get back going again.