Today is not a great morning so far. And it’s Wednesday so I can’t even blame it on the day itself. I like Wednesdays. Wednesdays are my writing day at work; we’re almost to the weekend but there’s still enough of the week left to get things done; and my husband is home Wednesday evenings making the routine less chaotic.
Got up this morning at 6:15 and crept like a ninja downstairs where I had made sure to have everything ready and waiting for me (took extra time to do this last night). I barely had my pjs off when I heard our daughter banging at her door. Arg! I hadn’t made any noise—what the heck? Why last week could I get up and leave without any disruption but this week it seems to be impossible?
Feeling mucho guilty, I leave the house knowing Allan is more than capable of handling the child. The guilt doesn’t come so much thinking that it should be *me* taking care of K, but knowing I had probably woken her up somehow. I was hoping a run would take my thoughts away and transport me to a peaceful NeverNever Land for a few minutes anyway.
It was hard today. And I know I usually say running is hard, but today was different. Every step hurt. My knee throbbed. My headspace was awful. I couldn’t stop thinking about waking up the house and how trying to fit my running needs into a day is becoming more and more impossible. I thought I had found the magic solution in these early morning runs and for two glorious weeks, it really was. My quiet time. It was almost like what I was doing was a secret b/c nobody was awake (until you know, I came on and blogged about it and told everyone on the Internet). I started my morning off in a great mood.
Well today that mood is not there my friends. I somehow managed to complete the 5.2K run but I honestly don’t know how. By lap three I had tears in my eyes and it was all I could do to hold it together. Yeah, yeah, my knee hurt, but that really wasn’t it. Me and the Knee have danced this routine for many years so I’m used to its protests and it’s used to me ignoring its screams. It was my mind and thoughts that were getting to me.
So here I was running, or trying to run I should say and all I could think about was how awful I was doing. And I knew I shouldn’t be thinking that, and I knew it would hurt the run, but I couldn’t stop. I was really beating myself up this morning, wondering why I couldn’t seem to progress. I’ve been doing 5.2K 2-3 times/week now for 3 weeks. I thought it would be different by now, either easier, faster, or transforming into longer distances. None of those things are happening.
And the mind spiraled from there. Slippery slope. From the “it’s so hard ” to “why is it still so hard” to “i’m not doing this right” to “maybe i shouldn’t be doing this” and back to “why is it still so hard?”
Granted, my schedule these days is not conducive to really placing emphasis on the run. My husband suggested I change my route, that maybe my body is getting bored with running the same area. He’s probably right but you know what? It’s all I can do right now. I only have 30min in the morning to run. Knowing I can leave my house and be back in half an hour and not have to prepare much or take a gym bag somewhere or pack work clothes is so refreshing; so freeing.
Running in the evenings is too hard. My husband is out twice a week and we tend to be social on the weekends. That would leave me Monday and Wednesdays to try, and these evenings are dedicated to marking (another hat I wear). We talked about me trying to squeeze a run in at 6pm when hubby gets off work: we might try this. A 6-630 run would allow me to get in my exercise pre-supper, pre-K’s bedtime, pre-marking time. And, I wouldn’t feel guilty about waking people up! I would miss the early morning freedom though…
Maybe, too, with my knee, running three times a week is too aggressive? Maybe I should go back to twice a week? If I did that, I would have to balance it out with something else, as I find going 4 days between exercise is too hard. I’m investigating maybe doing a Kettlebell class once a week with co-blogger/runner/amazing writer Wendy, but again, I’ll have to look at our schedules and see where it fits. I’m hoping I can do this though.
I don’t want to quit and I know today I’m just falling victim to a mind that is attempting to wear me down. It will pass. I’m trying not to focus on how well you all are doing! It’s so hard to be supportive to a spouse who is running 28+K this weekend when I can barely survive the 5! Again on my better days (which, really, is the norm), I realize that my knee will never allow me to run those distances (I’m not even sure I’ll make it to my 10K goal at this point), but on those bad days, nasty thoughts get in your head and play games don’t they?
I’m not going to end on a pity note and play the “poor me” card. That’s not my style. I don’t want that. I know I’m lucky to run even 5K and that some people would love to be able to do that. I’m lucky I have a family, despite the scheduling conflicts it causes. And I’m damn lucky to have the life I do. Trust me: I’m blessed and grateful. Today is just off.
And, despite all these negative thoughts swirling in my head, I did complete the run. I did. It just didn’t feel good.
I will, however, ask advice from you folk. And let’s keep it to battling the mind rather than what I should or shouldn’t do to get over this slump (that will come, I know). How do you banish these negative thoughts when running? What games do you play to stay positive? How do you encourage yourself while running? Also, how do you not focus so hard on the body/how hard it is and enjoy the experience? Can you teach yourself to zone out?
I’d really like to know.