This post about my training and stress affecting it is one of the most unorganized posts I’ve written. It bugs me because it doesn’t flow the way I wanted to in my mind. Perhaps this is two posts mashed into one. Either way, it was written from the heart without an editor’s hand and I don’t want to spend too much time fixing it. So this stays!
Plenty has been researched and written about the mental benefits of running.
I’ve written about days when I started a run absolutely in the dumps and how the run uplifted me and helped me let go of my baggage. I wrote about my frustrations and negativity after being let go from my dream job in “Running releases far more than just sweat.” A simple trail run was cathartic in bring out emotions and feeling free. And plenty more posts when running was just the outlet I needed.
So needless to say, I’ve turned to running when I’ve wanted to run away from everything.
But what about the other way round?
When things weigh you down so much that the run (or anyother workout of your choice) just doesn’t take off. When that run feels forced, when you feel like you are grasping at straws to get a handle. When you are overwhelmed with other things and when that run overwhelms you more….
Like everyone, I’ve had quite a few workouts that my heart just wasn’t in (but I still got it done!).
The long bike ride on Sunday felt longer than usual on low energy reserves. The hill repeats (which I actually like inspite of everyone making fun of me over it) wednesday was a disaster even though Callie and Stacey came out with me. I remember one easy 1.5hr run during the Dopey training cycle that did me in. And one particular track workout a few years ago that left me a mess because I couldn’t even run a 400m and it was 2 months from my marathon. That long run while training for my “mystery marathon” where I was running at Riverside drive with so much happiness and strength until mile 10 and mile 11.5 found me sitting on a bench with tears.
Pushing through these seemingly tough workouts strengthen you mentally.
But I always wonder at the cause. What makes it hard to separate life and training? Why does baggage from regular life bleed over to training? How do you separate it and get through both?
SHOULD they be separated?
I’ve got some of my best ah-ha moments on a run (even though it sounds cliche) and many a times I’ve picked a “topic” on a solitary run that I will ponder over. My mind palace works on overdrive on a run. I THINK on a run.
So should I embrace the converse scenario and just accept that life and running is all interrelated and is all part of the amazing ups and downs that make up both journeys?
Before anyone starts taking wild guesses, let me say that there is NOTHING in my life that should cause an absolute down in the dumps feeling and I’m very very thankful for that. My biggest concern is usually if I can make it home in time through traffic before after-school closes, or how I’m going to fit in a shower between workout and work, or how to make the pile of laundry take care of itself, or … silly mundane stuff. Life is good and I love the good crazy life.
That said, I’m a girl. I’m a mother. I’m a working woman. I’m a triathlete in training.
While my best juggling acts are performed under pressure, under water; sometimes I forget to come up for air. And that’s when things start falling apart.
This post was brought on by a meltdown this week after mentally pushing through everything last week.
Maybe the 2.5 hr commute each way last week finally caught up to me.
Maybe work stress and having to juggle it with increase in training volume and intensity is getting to me.
Maybe I’m coming down with something (I loaded up on vitamins after my meltdown!).
Maybe the lack of sleep made things worse (What happened to the girl who could go on 5hrs of sleep and still take on the world?!)
Maybe my nutrition is lacking. There’s no “maybe” in that. I need to get back in after 2 bad weeks due to commute in hell.
Maybe it’s the clutter that I face when I walk in and it drags me down and I have no energy to clean up.
Maybe it was a genuine feeling and not something I was just making a big deal out of.
Maybe I need some time to myself – not training, not working, not “doing” anything. Just me and whatever. (I’ll have plenty of that after September 27th!)
Maybe my body (and mind) just needs a couple of weeks to adapt to the increase in training and change in work life load.
A good night’s sleep (I slept for 13 hours on Thursday night!!) and a good dinner(that hubby cooked while I was sleeping on the couch during those 13hrs) and reaching out to friends to talk (one friend even suggested her nanny to help me a few hours a week so I don’t always have to come home to mess) set things right for me.
The overwhelming feeling hasn’t gone away, but I’m better equipped to handle it. With a smile.
I wouldn’t have it anyother way.
How does real life affect your training? What do you do when your heart is not in your workout and the push feels forced?