Necessary Come-Down Periods in Training, Racing + Work
For me, getting through my first race and the book launch has led to a pretty big come-down the last couple of weeks. While I’m still plugging away at work and training, I definitely needed the time at home just coming back to some level of homeostasis… That’s meant things like a choice to race 25K or run 22 miles on trails at home. I had to think about it—but ultimately, I knew that my body just wanted the long, chill trails (well, as chill as 22 miles of running ever is). So, I’m trying to not freak about my racing calendar or what’s next on that, despite being in the best trail running condition I’ve ever been in, and that’s a weird feeling for me. But I’m starting to realize that this might be the way I prefer living my life.
Anyone else have those periods: basically race-ready, but without the urge to actually hit the start line?
I don’t think it’s a bad thing. The same has applied to work for me lately too: the temptation to start new book pitches or huge new projects is always there… But there’s still a lot of work to do around Shred Girls: Lindsay’s Joyride in terms of events and promotion, the website is still putting out weekly content, I’m going back and forth on edits for the second book and starting in on the third. There are tons of other mid-way through projects in the pipeline as well—which means there’s a ton of straight-up work to be done. Not flashy, exciting stuff. This is the sit-at-a-computer-and-get-$hit-done stuff that isn’t nearly as satisfying as announcing a new project or putting out a new proposal.
The same is true for training—even the lead-up to my last race wasn’t exactly ideal. With knee ‘stuff’ and coaching 3 camps in Jan-March, my running took a mandatory backseat and my pre-race training, while solid, would have been even better with another few weeks of just straight running work. So, that’s where I am now. Just putting in that work, those miles. It’s not sexy. It’s not particularly Instagram-friendly. (This is what Peter means when he talks about putting hay in the barn)
We talked about this concept of FOMO on the podcast this week as one of the listener questions, and while it’s not a new topic by any stretch, athletes can sometimes feel it the keenest, I think. Every weekend, I see hundreds of people on social media posting about their races, which leads to thinking that everyone is racing every single weekend and having more fun than me, at home doing my solo long run. But when I step back and look at the people who are performing at the level I aspire to, I see that none of them are racing every single weekend—it just looks like that due to a) the algorithm, b) the fact that when you follow 1000 people, there’s always SOMEONE racing that weekend, and c) people posting pictures weeks after the actual race.
I think what I’ve been realizing lately is that living your ‘best life’ (meaning healthiest, most productive) is frankly, pretty damn boring. You might be able to make it look pretty cool—I know a lot of people who make their morning yoga look great for IG, for example. But in reality, it’s still you on the yoga mat in your living room getting through your planks and hating life just a little bit by minute 3. The best life is still good (great, in fact!), but when it’s spread over 24 hours instead of condensed into a Story montage, it’s pretty mundane. After a loooooot of years being on the road and deviating from an everyday routine, I can definitely say that my productivity and health are at their peak when I’m home for long stretches, but I have a whole lot less to post about.
But I’m trying to embrace this time and I am starting to realize that this is actually the way that I want my life to (mostly) be. Periods of excitement with new projects/travel/racing, but the majority of my time spent in the boring ‘best life’ zone. I’m actually really psyched because at the moment, we have a lot of this kind of time ahead of us, and I’m curious to see what will happen when I actually have more time in this zone than in the reactive travel/race/ahh!new-project zone. I think it’s going to end up making the travel/race/new project stuff significantly more powerful—bigger, better projects, travel that’s more focused on enjoying where I am instead of trying to use that time to catch up, races that are done with tons of training as a lead-up. It’s a weirdly exciting-in-the-long-term time, even if on a more micro basis, it feels a little more boring.
Anyone else feel this?