For the past week and a half, I’ve been involved with a very talented and a tad crazy group of people to compete in a hackathon – where we produce a fully developed product delivering actual value to our users and company. Yesterday was the final presentation and judging; we had to pitch to senior leadership. My stress levels were through the roof, even as we were having so much fun! My workouts a chore that was keeping me from doing more with my team. What was that saying … “take care of yourself”? Even my kids noticed my stress levels but it was heightened by getting more stressed at having to do workouts.
Now that I know that I will face the kind of intense stress that will plummet my energy levels, I can be aware of a few things that got in my way of workouts these past 2 weeks so I can learn how to not let work stress affect my workouts.
Work is not always life
When I was on my computer all day and night, worried about finishing up in the deadline, I was carrying the mental stress even after I closed the computer. It was harder for me to get moviing and to do anything else other than work more.
The only times I could get a workout in was when I woke up early enough. But even that backfired since I was going to bed late and early wakeup meant that I was running low on sleep.
Early to bed, early to rise
Not enough sleep can wreak havoc on mind and body. The body is more exhausted and I feel reduced motivation. Even though I was not watching TV late at night, staying up for work was reducing my body’s natural enthusiasm and everything felt like a chore.
Short regular breaks
A desk job sitting at the computer for long hours is definitely not conducive to pulling in workouts. Even when I had my workouts scheduled, I had no energy to get up and actually go. If I had taken frequent breaks to just walk around and stretch, I think I would’ve been a little more effective in sharing the inertia.
Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
During the hackathon, we were well fed – breakfast, lunch and snacks were arranged for all the teams. So there was never going hungry or forgetting to eat. But what I did keep forgetting in the stress of it all was to drink water. I’d start the day with a bottle but it would taper off as the day kept going. I could feel myself being dehydrated and that would make me feel like my energy was being sucked out.
Added stress of workouts aka plan better
In a way, this was a weird one for me. I was stressed with work but I was even more stressed when I missed a day. And that feeling compounded when one missed day became three. And the day that I missed my long run – worst.feeling.ever. Even though I knew that I consciously gave up my long run in order to not be hurried with … you guessed it … more work and the minions’ swim meet.
I don’t advocate not making time for workouts, but perhaps if I had reconciled it with a 45 minute run instead of a 2hr run, I would have gotten something in. In this case, the 2hr workout was adding stress that I could’ve avoided.
As much as I HATED missing my workouts and it stressed me out more, it was all worth it. We won the hackathon and await to see where that leads our eclectic team.
How do you deal with stress? Do you find that it affects your workouts? How do you manage to keep stress at bay and still get a good workout in?
These are some of the weekly linkups hosted by great bloggers. Check out some of the posts in the linkups.
Meatless Monday – Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands
Tunes Tuesday (first Tuesday of the month) – KookyRunner, Run With No Regrets and RunSteffRun
Tuesdays on the Run –No Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice
Running Coaches Corner – Running on Happy, Suz Lyfe, Crazy Running Girl and Coach Debbie Runs
Friday Five 2.0 –Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness