Sunday, September 19, 2010

Running and stress...

So while most people are able to use running or working out to de-stress, I find that I simply have awful runs or want to skip runs when I'm feeling really stressed out.  I wish this weren't the case.  If I have a lot to do or a lot on my mind, going for a run doesn't relieve me.  Instead I spend the whole run thinking about all of the other things I should be doing, feeling distracted, tense, etc, and I end up having an awful run.  Or I don't run at all because I've already burned up all of my energy on stress and am exhausted.  I really need to get better at stress management.

Last week was very tough for me because I'm starting a job search (for next year...but in my field you have to start this early), and I'm also behind where I'd like to be with my writing.  I spent most of the week feeling really highstrung and engaging in some less-healthy patterns like eating junk and having a ton of coffee (eek.)  Unfortunately my training reflected this....

So here's what my runs ended up looking like last week:
Saturday = 20
Sunday = biking, no runs
Monday = no runs (legs really sore)
Tuesday = 5 miles fast (this was a good run)
Wednesday = no runs (lazy, too much coffee while writing all day)
Thursday = 1.5 mile run (headed out without eating first, no energy and grumpy, turned back)
Friday = no runs (had a morning meeting and evening plans, and only 3 hours in the afternoon to squeeze in a run, ended up taking a nap by accident because I was exhausted)
Saturday = 6 miles (went to park here called Sharon Woods, ran midday when it was quite hot, trail was very hilly, did first 2 miles in vibrams)
Sunday = fml, my legs are SO SO sore from that hilly trail and vibram running... I need to do 12 but have so much to do today and it's going to thunderstorm this afternoon...arg...

This was the laziest run week ever... I feel really bad about it.  It was a cutback week like I said so I was only supposed to do three 5 milers anyhow, but I ended up doing one 5 miler and a 6 miler and that's basically it.  And I had back-to-back days with no runs which I really try to avoid.

This upcoming week I start teaching again so I have to start thinking about how runs will fit around a more rigid work schedule... I'm not sure I want to do an 8 miler on a day I have to work.  Teaching will REALLY put a crunch on my time, and I haven't had to deal with that in about 3.5 months.  I've been getting used to my flexibility.  The tentative plan unless I change for work:
Monday: rest or xtrain
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles tempo
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: rest
Saturday: 20 or 22 (last run this long before marathon!)

I guess if I don't do the 12 miles today and end up doing them tomorrow, I'll just have to miss the rest day on Monday and make Tuesday's 5 an easy kind of recovery 5.  Hopefully doing 12 on Monday won't affect my 20 on Saturday, if it comes to that.

I'm getting worried about how my training will go in the next month now that I'll be looking for jobs, trying to write, AND teaching.  The good thing is that it's almost taper time... so I won't have to do as many miles/week anyhow...but the bad news is that I really enjoyed the past month of running and it is going to make me really sad if I can't manage stress well enough to still get good, focused runs into my daily life--taper or not.  I'm so bad at managing stress.

And in addition to stress affecting my training, it also affects my ability to recover--I need to be getting good rest, eating well, all that, and when I'm really stressed I just don't want to eat, and I get restless sleep.  I need to find a way to chill the hell out, and to be more productive so that can happen.  Adding to my stress is the fact that my apartment is in a state of constant disarray, because when I'm trying to get work done AND get runs in AND sometimes have some semblance of a social life, I'm not spending much time here to clean it or I feel too tired to clean it or I don't want to spend time on cleaning.  And I feel so anxious in disordered environments.

Also on days I have to go to teach, I usually completely fail at planning meals... no matter what time I teach and what time I get up, I still manage to be running late and to bustle out of here in a frenzy, with no breakfast or no packed lunch.  And it's not exactly easy to acquire vegan meals on or near campus.  The classes I teach are 2 hours long and I usually go directly from them to office hours, which means I'll have about a 5 hour block with no chance to pick anything up to eat anyhow, and if you add in my commute both ways thats like 6 hours of no food if I forget to take anything with me.  I'm going to have to think about this and try to plan ahead with packed things, and then somehow remember to TAKE the packed things with me.  (seriously even if I put packed meals next to the door I somehow always manage to forget to take them... sigh).  If I also miss breakfast this could mean that I have days where I don't eat until 3 or 4 in the afternoon...which has happened in the past, but REALLY can't happen while I'm in marathon training.  I'm so hungry all the time.

How. On earth. Am i going to manage. The next month. And still run a marathon.  Omg.
I guess for starters I should stop blogging and start getting some stuff done....sigh...


  1. I so admire you for your running.

    We've driven by Banana Leaf but never stopped! Now we're going to have to. Indian food isn't very available here, so we've never really had any exposure to it. After your glowing review, that's got to change. Thanks so much for the info!

  2. I remember feeling like this a few weeks back. I am also stressing about writing up, and felt like running was just adding to that. Just before term starts is a rough time anyway, and it was the last 20 miler that I totally crashed on. So don't feel like you're screwing up.

    As for today's 12 miler, if you don't manage it, then I would say drop it. You can't always play catch-up, it'll just add to the stress and malaise. You last 20 is going to be tough as it is, without feeling down on the whole thing...