My coach pointed out that I’ve raced 3 Halfs and a Full Ironman in nine months.  Not bad for a guy who spent most of his nights drinking and eating Italians on a barstool until two years ago. But it comes with a few questions.

Sometimes I feel very fatigued.  It’s all I can do to put on my workout clothes, and often I blow it off.  But 9 times out of 10 I feel much better after a workout, even if I think I’m exhausted.


So, here is the million dollar question:  What’s the difference between being tired and fatigued, and when is exercise better than rest?

When I was a lazy ass, I often had genuine intentions of training after work, only to lay on the couch or go to Happy Hour.  I just “didn’t have” energy to hit the gym.

When I reflect on these feelings they are very similar to the ones I still have (though not as much).  I’ll still occasionally lay down after work, but wake up recharged and hammer a workout.  This leads me to believe my brain is more exhausted than my body.

Life, like racing, is very mental and when you are not fueling well, both can overwhelm you.

I think a lot of this can be attributed to bad sleep and no breakfast.  I get up, have coffee, often times throw in a muffin, then head to work.  I’m usually strong through noon, then grab lunch, before slowly fading into afternoon-snack-land.  It’s not a good pattern.

It seems like an easy fix, but I’ve struggled with this pattern my whole life.  And while I’ve known it forever, it’s not getting much easier, which is why I’m reaching a breaking point.

Ironman had an amazing power to wiggle its way into my brain and motivate on a daily basis.  It was a purpose and a passion.  It was spring-out-of-bed-for-Christmas-present-energy.  But now that I’ve done it, it doesn’t have the same stranglehold on my psyche.

I have no choice but to find a bigger, more lasting inspiration.  Something more genuine and much bigger that gives me continual fuel to push for what is truly important.  That is where energy lies.  That is where vitality lives.

So, I sit here on a beautiful Saturday morning looking for something grander to lead me in life. The sun is shining, warm wind is blowing through the windows, and Mattie is chasing squirrels in the backyard.  My buddy Wasky ran a PR 1:27 half, Corey rode 60 miles on the Trace, and Jim is taking photos of nature.  Maybe all of that is my answer.



How Do You Know When You're Really Tired?



One thought on “How Do You Know When You're Really Tired?

  • April 20, 2014 at 1:55 am

    After my last IM, I took a year off (I did do one 70.3 that year, but it wasn’t pretty and I didn’t really train for it). I did what I wanted, when I wanted. It allowed me to recharge the batteries and find the desire to set new/bigger goals. Take some time off and recharge, Mike 🙂

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