The fallacy of a photo: Hiding a meltdown

Beware what you see on social media. What you see is not necessarily what you get. On the face of it, this is not the picture of someone in the middle of a major meltdown.

Photo finish, hiding a meltdown

2017 Seahawks 12k

Yet Sunday’s Seahawks 12k win actually served to confirm the fact that yes, this is someone in the middle of a major meltdown. Though I out-kicked the woman who passed me at the 7 mile mark and held off by 1 second the #3 runner (who became #2 at the finish), my finish time of 47:09 was almost two minutes slower than the last time I ran it in 2015. Which is, and this is by no means meant to disparage anyone else’s finish time, an indication that all is not right with me.

According to this Bodybuilding.com post on overtraining, 10 signs of overtraining include:

Persistent muscle soreness
Elevated resting heart rate
Increased susceptibility to infections
Increased incidence of injuries
Irritability
Depression
Loss of motivation
Insomnia
Decreased appetite
Weight loss

Well, I’m hitting just about all of those. And if I’m really honest with myself, probably have on and off since late last summer. Sunday’s race quantitatively proved to me that I need to make some changes. I just hope I haven’t arrived at this realization too late.

I’m exhausted, yet I can’t sleep. I haven’t run a great speed workout in months, and my times across the board are climbing. This, of course, leads to stress and irritability, which makes me a terrible mom and spouse. I’m struggling and can no longer deny it.

So, I’ve stopped running and all other workouts. And the giant red flag, if there ever was one: I don’t even miss it. Yes, it’s only been four days. But four unscheduled days off, without illness or injury (oh the irony), should cause nothing but restlessness to run again. Instead, I’m nothing but tired.

My hope is that a rest and recovery break now will enable a return later this summer and into the fall. I cleared my calendar of upcoming races, mourning the loss of my plans for the Top Pot 5k this month and Bloomsday 12k in May. I’m sad and scared and hope this isn’t the end of my competitive running.

So, take what you see on Facebook with a grain of salt. Though that photo might look victorious, it hides a less rosy reality.

7 thoughts on “The fallacy of a photo: Hiding a meltdown

  1. Have you tried eating yourself out of overtraining? If you’re limiting carbs, adding good sources back in while you rest should help. Difficult to nail tough workouts when you’re carb depleted. Hope you recover soon, really enjoy your race reports!

    • Thank you, that’s good to know. I’m not limiting carbs, but wonder if in my effort to increase protein and cut back on sugar, I’m still not getting enough? Don’t have to tell me twice to consume more carbs. 🙂

  2. Another reason for me to admire you. You are strong, even when you feel you have hit rock bottom you are still managing to make good decisions. So proud of you Janet. You are a wonderful mother and still an incredible role model. Can’t wait to see what you do next. Much love always!!!!!!!

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