Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Discombobulatory Funk

I tried, but I guess I can't breathe underwater
I don't even know if that's a word. But I didn't know what else to call it (my husband thinks it would make a good band name). I'm in a funk. It's not a rut. It doesn't feel like overtraining. And it doesn't feel like a slump. It just feels uncomfortable. Like I'm.., well.. discombobulated. Like nothing is working quite right. And I don't mean my training isn't working right. I mean my body isn't working right. And it's not the first time this has happened.

It usually happens sometime around the middle of my training period. I get this particular type of discomfort. Defining its symptoms is even harder, but here's an attempt:
  • My swimming isn't necessarily slow - i.e., my arms aren't weak - but after months of working on building strength and yardage, suddenly my stroke feels completely discombobulated. Last week I was fine, but now I feel like I've lost my grip on the water and my arms are flailing all over the place. I panic that my stroke has completely fallen apart from not doing regular drills. I start overcompensating - which causes my natural smooth stroke to go haywire. Then finally, I don't know if it's my overcompensating that is causing the discombobulation instead of the discombobulation causing the overcompensating. Yeah, it's a mess.
  • I regularly get the sensation that I'm suffocating - it feels like I forgot to breathe for several minutes. And it happens at any time, not just while I'm working out or going up stairs.
  • My ability to pick up the pace on the bike and run is completely gone. Usually I would accept this as general fatigue, but the discombobulatory lack-of-pick-up is different. It's like I lost my sprint "form." When I tried to run fast on the indoor track yesterday, I actually tripped over my own feet and almost fell. No, I'm not kidding.
  • Abdominal work feels completely whacked - like I'm doing it wrong or like I'm doing a completely different exercise. This is something I do EVERY day. Why would a simple daily exercise suddenly feel like something completely different?
So there it is, my best definition of the symptoms. I keep thinking I'm going to wake up from a dream - the one where I'm able to breathe underwater (I love that dream). This week in the pool, I considered I was IN that dream and I thought about attempting to breathe underwater. I said "THOUGHT about." Did you know a synonym for discombobulated is deranged? I'm not surprised.

This sort of thing is par for the disaster magnet course, and the only thing I can think of to do is to wait until it passes. Sometimes it lasts a day, sometimes it lasts a week or two. But I only have 10 weeks to Ironman St. George so I'm backing off on my hard, long sessions for a week to see if that will eradicate it as quickly as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Stop stop stop setting yourself up to be a self fulfilling prophecy. Overtraining is not training. Learn how to rest and focus on the bike & nutrition during the race. Stress and (unfounded) self-doubt is what’s undermining you now.

    Pep talk is now over.

    You’re welcome.

    Dr. Punky