A tired triathletes musings about being tired.

This week is the first of my last training block before my next race. This means that I have 3 pretty nutty weeks and then I begin to taper before Ironman New Zealand. I am training more this round than I did for my last Ironman in November, and I am absolutely exhausted.

I am have just been generally tired, but I also realized a couple hours into my long bike ride this morning that I no longer wanted to focus on anything educational or intellectual. The one advantage to indoor training rides is the ability to get a fair amount done – pretty much anything I can do on my phone, or listening to podcasts etc. I enjoy being productive on the bike, but at some point it’s all about chick flicks to get me through. I spent the next four hours watching a new mindless tv show to pass the time. In some sense it is just easier to lose time when you are into a show or movie – that’s what they are designed to do, right? To suck you in but take fairly little brain power. But I also think I was just tired physically which translated to mental tiredness as well. I passed the rest of my workout in kind of a daze that extended into a run after my long ride when my body just wanted to stop and eat and nap, but then has this amazing ability to keep going and running at a reasonable pace (for me – it’s all relative).

I sort of like this tired feeling. When I am very tired and sometimes when I am sick, I get this feeling of calm. Maybe it is because I give myself permission to let my brain calm down. Tim Ferris and Susan Cain were recently talking about writers getting a lot done in the middle of the night. Ms. Cain pointed out that this may be because our cortisol levels are reduced at night. This is our stress hormone; thus without high levels of stress, writers may be able to shut down the critical brain more easily, allowing their creativity to flow onto the page. I don’t think in my instance it is leading to creativity, but perhaps the calm feeling I get is related to lower cortisol levels?

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