Wanted: Moderation

I’m not a moderate person. I could list thousands of examples, but I’ll shorten the list to my most recent failures:

Last week, I decided to pre-hab my ankle, which has been a tad sore ever since the Marine Corps Marathon. Which wouldn’t be a big deal, except that I sprained that ankle last December, and ended up needing a couple cortisone shots to finally knock down the inflammation. As I dutifully performed my towel pulls and toe taps last week, I thought: The great thing is, it’s impossible to overdo it with this kind of exercise! Impossible … unless you’re me. My feet were in excruciating post-workout pain all weekend. It takes a special kind of idiot to overdo it with foot-strengthening exercises, but it can be done.

On Monday, I took a lovely afternoon swim break at a county pool that happened to be close to my late-afternoon interview. It was great, except for the soundtrack of self-doubt running through my head. The internal debate focused on whether I can really afford the $250 registration fee for the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge Swim when the 1-mile version of the race costs $60, and on whether, if I skipped the 4.4-miler, the 1-miler would just be a waste of time — go big or go home, right?

I know: wrong. I’m aware that I’m not the only amateur, middle-of-the-pack athlete to suffer from this affliction. I’m also aware that there’s nothing healthy about it. While my Type-A personality certainly helps when I’ve got a goal to achieve, it’s not so great on the flexibility front, which is a key piece of training.

So last night, when I woke up from an unplanned late-afternoon nap that could only mean an impending virus of some sort (I was the only kid who couldn’t sleep during siesta when I studied abroad in Italy), I decided to get better at moderation by practicing it. I’d really been looking forward to my group run with Pacers Silver Spring, especially considering it was a tough, hilly route — exactly the kind I’m trying to focus on to get ready for the National Marathon in March. I also thought about how I’d already taken a day off last Friday, and how a day off the following Tuesday could only mean … two days off in one week (gasp!). But for once, I listened to my body rather than the soundtrack of guilt and stayed home.

This morning, I woke up after having slept 16 hours — again, for an insomniac, this can only be a sign that something’s wrong. I also woke up with a twinge in my throat. I’m choosing to spend the day on the couch, working as I can, sleeping when I need to. Because my still-sore feet remind me that you don’t get extra brownie points for pushing yourself too hard.

In the “just what the doctor ordered” department: This morning, a freelancer-friend made me aware of the chance to win a trip to a spa-learning/networking opportunity for bloggers, freelancers and other entrepreneurs Feb. 1-3 at a fabulous resort in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Just thinking about relaxing at a spa and yapping with other freelancers makes my impending cold feel better, and makes me feel all moderate and stuff. Find out more, or enter yourself, here.

Does moderation come naturally for you? If not, how do you make sure you stay balanced and healthy?


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9 responses to “Wanted: Moderation

  1. I can SO relate! I had never done a race in my whole entire life when I decided to enter one in May–I had my choice between a 5k and a 10k–and of course I HAD to do the 10k–with 3 weeks of preparation. It kind of sucked, by the way : ) I’m currently staying balanced my following a training schedule…we’ll see what happens when I’m not on a set plan anymore! I think recognizing this in yourself is a solid step towards finding that healthy balance though…stay on that couch today!

  2. Brittany

    Any time I try moderation, I fail completely. Thing is, I don’t really consider myself “type A” so I don’t know where it comes from. For me, I try to just introduce other things then what I’m focusing on so that I keep a good balance, and set goals in different areas of my life. It does help a little!

  3. Yikes, Amy! It sounds like you are about to be a sick little lady… I’m so glad you decided to rest, I hope it takes care of itself quickly. *cyber Orange Juice and hugs* for you…

    As for moderation, I think I’m on the other side of the coin. I’m such a perfectionist yet so afraid of failing, I end up doing nothing. That explains my dirty house and financial messes, lol. Running is the first time I have really learned to set appropriate goals and achieve them. I’m hoping I can extend the skill to other areas of my life (fingers crossed).

  4. I’m a little too good at moderation. I like my rest days and take at least two a week. Of course, right now, I don’t really cross train, so 4-5 days a week of running is all I can handle.

  5. Thanks for blogging about the CurrentMom 2010 conference. Don’t forget to check on Tuesday Nov. 17 at noon to see if you won a free registration!

  6. trialsoftraining

    “it takes a special kind of idiot” ha!! oh, Amy. at least your feet/toes are getting stronger, right?! Always something we runners strive for, no? 😉

    Keep resting up! I always take two days off during the week, it’s Far from the end-of-the-world. Your muscles need those recovery days just as much as your Cold does!

    Still So pumped that you’re running the National Marathon (which I want to refer to as NM – but that’s just confusing to me! being from the state…ya know….dangit!)!!

    • I’m so psyched I’ll get to follow your training, too! We’ll need to come up with a cool hashtag: if not NM, then maybe TAMAAHAR (That awesome marathon Amy and Heather are running)?

  7. I found your blog through Lindsay’s blog. How do I follow your blog?

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m not sure you can “follow” a WordPress blog the way you can a blogspot one. But if you don’t mind using a good ol’ fashioned bookmark, I try to post something new just about every weekday — hope you’ll stop by again!

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