A down week(s) in running

Running is always up and down.

When we first arrived in Europe, it took almost two weeks to adjust. Maybe it was naïve of me, but I expected to be able to ease right into my regular running routine immediately. Instead, I think almost every one of my runs during those first two weeks were a slog. Sure, we had some bad weather, lots of snow and ice – but I think the jet lag and stress also contributed to my lacklustre running.

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Charming houses spotted during my first solo long run in Copenhagen.

Things started to click again when we made it to Copenhagen during our second week. As soon as we checked into our accommodation, we immediately changed and went for our respective long runs. Despite this being my first solo run in Europe (and I was nervous about that), being in a new city that wasn’t covered in snow and ice was pretty awesome. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to have experienced lots of running in some pretty stunning and exhilarating places. I fell unapologetically in love with running and it was often the highlight of my day and something I practically jumped out of bed to do. I’ve never liked running THAT much.

But, like everything that’s awesome in this world, there comes a point when things change. It may be subtle at first, but eventually it evolves into something that can’t be ignored. I hit that point 2 weeks ago. Burn out.

First, it was Mike’s stomach bug that caused a lot of stress for both of us. I was really worried about him and I neglected to take care of myself as well during that time. Then I got sick which interrupted my training as well. This week, my motivation has been at an all-time low. Despite trying to pull myself out of it, I just haven’t felt the same excitement to tie up my laces and go for a run outside. Part of it is the fact that my stomach has continued to give me problems, making my runs not very enjoyable.

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Running with stomach pain usually only happens when I’m not well hydrated or a gel isn’t sitting well in my stomach. Yesterday, it felt like my insides were rotting during the entire run. Not cool.

We’re travelling today which means a 4 hour train ride and we purposely picked a departure time that would have allowed us ample time to fit our interval session in before we left. I had no excuses. Instead, I lay around for hours on the couch trying to talk myself into going for my run. When I finally got outside, I made it a whopping 0.03km before I decided that my sore stomach was enough of a reason to turn around and call it a day.

The Type A control freak in me is annoyed that I skipped the run over mental fatigue and a sore stomach (which may have resolved itself after a few minutes – I didn’t run long enough to find out). But I just couldn’t go through with it this morning. Actually, even that’s not entirely accurate. I just didn’t want to go through with it. My “excuses” were that I didn’t feel like running with a sore stomach and we were on a really tight timeline since I had taken so long to get going.

The logical side of me is saying:

  • A few missed workouts won’t make or break an entire training cycle. Life happens. Things come up. We can’t be perfect for months on end. Just grateful for the good days and generally being consistent.
  • I can technically still try to do the workout when we arrive in Frankfurt tonight. I can either try to find a flat, uninterrupted space near our hotel or I can attempt to do it in the hotel gym if there’s a treadmill. I still have options if my stomach feels better.

Typing this all out helps. I realize I probably sound a little obsessive. It’s helpful to get my crazy out so that I can “uncrazy” myself. I really need to stop trying to be perfect all the time. Especially when it comes to my hobbies. The only person I’m disappointing is myself, and I need to be kinder and more forgiving when I don’t do something as planned.

So there’s that. Here’s to trying.

alison

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