This weekend was the LAST long run before the Hill Country Marathon! It was so great because at my halfway point, I literally ran into my friend Casey who was going the direction I was turning around to go.
Running the last half with a good friend and catching up on everything in life was such a great way to spend my last run! My legs were a little sore and tired from Thursday’s Orangetheory class (hills) so they were screaming a bit at the end.
This training cycle I’ve been struggling. First, I had the issues with figuring out if I was overtraining or iron deficient and in all, it just felt like a struggle to balance work and everything else with running.
I used to think that being a morning runner would solve all of this, after all, you get your run out of the way in the morning so if your day implodes on itself, it doesn’t mean that you have to skip your run to deal with it.
But one of the lessons I’ve learned this time around… when life gets crazy and stressful, it can make your motivation to want to do things pretty much disappear. Even if they are the things that make you feel less stressed overall… running has often felt like this over the past few weeks, where it was a struggle to convince myself that YES it’s a great idea to get up at 5 a.m. for a run. That it will be worth it, when all my mind kept saying was no you want to sleep so you don’t have to think about things.
I think one of the things that helped the most was having the habit of getting up to run. The habit of grabbing my clothes, laying them out, turning on the alarm and getting out of bed and just doing it… there were a few runs that I missed along the way, but it could have been a lot worse.
And I guess throughout the process, I learned a bit about how to deal with stress and a crazy schedule. I thought I figured this out when we lived in NYC, but who knew things could get crazier?!
Number one: one day at a time.
A few times, I looked at my training schedule and started freaking out about the double-digit Thursday run when it was a few days away. It put unnecessary stress because worrying about it on Sunday was going to do nothing for me but kill my mojo until Thursday.
Number two: cut yourself some slack.
I wrote about how we are often our own worst critic a few weeks ago and I definitely learned this over the past few weeks. I’ve found that when I give myself a break, let myself relax and enjoy the day, it helps SO much. There’s a difference between pushing yourself for greatness and pushing yourself to insanity… and that difference is giving yourself a break when you need it.
Number three: it’s just running.
When it comes down to it, it’s just running. It’s a hobby that’s supposed to be fun and enjoyable. Sure, we all have our goals in our head of what we want to be able to do and put some stress on ourselves to meet those goals. But, I’m not Meb. I’m not Shalane. I’m not making money off of this hobby, so it’s OK if it’s just that and not perfect. I think by looking at it in this way, it gives you an opportunity to grow and learn in ways that help you in other ways in life.
So, one week to go! And I’m so excited for this race as a way to celebrate getting through one of the toughest training cycles I’ve ever had… it’s a great way to celebrate making it through and learning a ton in the process. 🙂
How do you deal with stress? Do you use exercise as a way to get through tough moments?
When’s your next race?
How was your weekend? What did you do? Anyone race?
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