If you read Hanna’s post on the same topic, this post might sound familiar. I seem to be going through exactly what Hanna is!
My body wants to hibernate every evening. Now that it’s dark so early, all I want to do is get home from work quickly, finish walking the dog and eating dinner as soon as I can, and then nestle under covers with a book for the whole night. If I manage to get up for 15 minutes to fold some laundry, it’s a huge win.
With my new focus on strength training, hibernating after work isn’t good. My routine for years has been to run in the morning and strength train in the evening. Running is easier for me in the early morning because I can basically start out still asleep and run on auto-pilot until my body wakes up. Strength training requires a lot more coordination and focus, and I find it very difficult to do as soon as I wake up.
This past week, I vowed every day to do strength training in the evening. My especially low energy last week compounded with hibernation mode so that I fell prey to warm covers and my book over and over and didn’t do a single strength session. I even skipped a blogger event to try a Dailey Method class that Gretchen coordinated–which I really wanted to try!–because it was fairly late in the evening for me and I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to even get there, much less make it through the class. Also, work is exceptionally busy these days and, thus, draining. I love my job though, so no complaints there–just that it’s likely adding to my fatigue.
Fortunately, I’m getting daily activity with walking to work. I only biked to work one day last week because I had to be at an off-site location early, and it just worked out better to bike. But I walked in the other days, which amounted to about 100 minutes of walking between my walk commute and daily dog walks.
I got 3 runs in this past week but was sad to not run more. Monday I took a rest day because I was still incredibly sore from a hard strength training session the weekend before that left me moaning in pain whenever I walked up or down stairs. Tuesday was the early work day, with no time to run. I ran Wednesday (with frozen tootsies in 29 degrees–oh how this cold-weather-tolerant runner has fallen) and Thursday, and slept in and didn’t run Friday.
Saturday it rained the entire morning–talk about hibernation mode coming into play! But I did make myself get in a really good, 40-minute strength training session and felt so much better than I would have if I’d have just binge-read my book all day. And the rain let up for our afternoon walk with the dog.
Sunday morning was my third run for the week at North Park. It wasn’t too cold, but some blustery bursts of hail didn’t make it very fun. But I was still happy to be out because I was virtually cheering on Joanna, who was kicking the Philly Marathon’s butt! Joanna had a really strong training cycle using the Hansons’ method, and I’m thrilled she had a great race despite crazy wind.
I finished last week with only 12 miles. I know I said I’d target 3-4 runs a week during my off-season, but 3 just doesn’t feel like enough. My body is really craving more runs, so I hope the weather is nice enough this week to run a bit more.
In the meantime, I have some strategies I’m going to try to fight hibernation.
1. Strength Train Immediately After Work
I’m successful with strength training if I do it immediately after I get home–before I eat dinner or open a book. Once I start reading, I’m useless.
2. Do Shorter Sessions
It’s easier for me to commit to doing a strength training routine that’s short, especially since I’m hungry after work. I have a bunch of 15-minute workouts that I plan to do.
3. Just Get Outside
I said in my last post that I also wanted to take more evening walks with the dog like we used to in summer. (I take Django on a long morning walk, a shorter walk after work, and then Dave takes him on an evening walk. In the summer I regularly join them for evening walks, and we usually make them longer.) Again, that didn’t happen once last week. I think I need to approach it like running–don’t fixate on the weather and just put on my shoes and coat and go out. Even a shorter walk is better than lazing around on the couch.
I’m motivated to put these strategies to work this week. I refuse to let the dark and cold of the season take my fitness away!