Slowing Down to Go Fast
By AmBadassador Susan Oyler
For a long time, I believed that rest was unnecessary. I thought that you could train your body into not needing it. I blame this old way of thinking on being an engineer. Newton’s First Law of Motions states that an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. I feared that if I rested, that the effort needed to get back started would be too great to surmount. I mean, who am I to argue with Sir Isaac Newton? So, I was always go-go-go. But, over the past year, I learned that the laws of physics might not apply to the mechanics of the human body.
I didn’t have an off-season last year. I pretty much kept training right through November and December of 2016, and rolled right through into January, when training for Ironman Texas began in earnest. I was very fortunate to stay physically healthy throughout my training. However, my mind was not as healthy. I started struggling with bouts of mental fatigue in March, as the mileage was peaking. I used the idea of a training break as my carrot dangling on a stick to help me make it through. However, I got swept up into the emotion of those finish line feelings and before I knew it, I was back at the pool on Monday after Ironman Texas! Training continued and I continued to struggle with feeling burned out off and on until November 5, the day of my last race of the season. A pothole at mile 43 on the bike course put me down and I got some serious road rash on my arm and knee. I was feeling really great during the race and had the wreck not happened, I probably would have gotten swept up in the emotion of the finish line again and just kept training. Instead, I was forced into rest so I could recover from my injuries. I took a full week and a half off. My only workout every day was tending to my wounds. Literally.
Since returning to training, I’ve been keeping it light. The focus of my workouts right now is just about staying active to stay healthy and having fun. I think that many of us age-group/weekend warrior athletes have a tendency to turn this thing we do for fun into another item on our to-do list, which sucks all the fun out of it and leads to burn out. In order for us to be able to go fast when it counts, we also need to slow down when it counts! While this body won’t be at complete rest, it will continue to move at this slower pace and refill my mind and soul with more time with friends and family.
Learn more about AmBadassador Susan:
I’m a military wife, mother, civil engineer, iron widow and triathlete. Like most women, I’m trying my best to juggle all those roles. And, like most women, I’m often feeling like I’m failing. They say that it takes a village to raise a child, but why should that village end at childhood? I believe that we all need a village to help support and encourage us. We need to share our experiences of success AND failure. That is what my goal in life is: to help others.