I feel a little strange writing a negative post when there's so much positive stuff going on right now, but I've been struggling with these feelings for awhile, and that's what my blog is for. So here we go.
For the past couple weeks, I have been totally neglecting my training. I focused on getting all my weight sessions in (and I will recap Stage One of NROLFW soon, I promise!), but everything else sort of fell by the wayside.
I can't say I'm totally surprised this happened. There's a been a lot of life stuff happening like, you know, buying my first house and moving for the second time in three months. I love our house, but it's still an adjustment. (As someone at work said the other day: "I HATE CHANGE!!!")
Besides that, it's also been go, go, go, with races and other travel, like going back to our parents' for Father's Day and the 4th of July. All of this has been super fun, but it started to burn me out. Right now our only plans for August is for my best friend to come visit us (which will likely involve me taking time off work and chilling poolside!), and Michael and I can't wait to sit around on our butts for a few weekends.
We've also started wedding planning slightly more in earnest than before, in that we are actually looking at venues. The first was a total spectacular dud, but we have high hopes for the one we're seeing at the very beginning of August. When my best friend (and MOH) gets back stateside in July, it will be easier to have someone to bounce ideas off of.
So, with all of that detailed, from an objective point of view, I'm not surprised at all that I am feeling a bit burnt out. If someone else told me all that and asked for advice, I would tell them to take a few deep breaths and enjoy the time off.
However, I am the queen of imposing irrational and pointless pressure on myself. Which has led to some really intense guilt about skipping my workouts.
I tried to take a step back - I have no time goals for Missoula, I am in decent (for me) shape, and there is a generous cut-off. Taking some time to recharge isn't going to hurt me this Sunday. I'm guessing it might even help.
Even though that sounds super reasonable, I'm still struggling with the guilt. I've spent this week doing about 30 minutes of yoga a night, which has kept me from getting restless, but hasn't really eased the guilt.
I've been doing a lot of soul-searching trying to determine the cause of this guilt, and maybe have a few guesses. The job I took here when I moved is fine, but it's a lot less challenging than my prior one. I specifically wanted something a little less stressful, but I went too far down the spectrum. I think without some work stress, I'm feeling a little lost. I defined myself by academics for so long, and now that I can't replace that with work, it's a bit of a struggle. I guess I feel like I have to pressure myself somehow, so I'm finding a new outlet?
I've also lost a routine without a set workout schedule. Again, I specifically took a break from my plan to break that very routine, but structure really helps keep me centered. (I originally used the word calm here, but I don't think that's quite right.)
Trying to understand the cause isn't working out so well, so I'm hoping it passes soon. I'm unbelievably excited to run Missoula and then spend five whole days hiking all over Glacier National Park. I haven't done a big Park hiking trip in awhile, and I'm ready to hit the trails! I even treated myself to a new daypack and everything.
I plan to take an additional week off after the trip and plan to do whatever I feel like. If I want to go for a walk, I will. If I want to go for a trail run, I will. If I want to sit on my butt and share 1000 pictures of Glacier with you guys, I will.
This low-grade anxiety is really uncomfortable, but it helps to recognize that it's irrational and it too will pass. Training for Chickamauga will start two weeks after Missoula, and I'm really happy with the plan I created for myself, so I also have that to look forward to.
Other than at Christmas, I've never taken for than a couple of days off work at time. (And at Christmas, we switched locations every three days, so it wasn't very relaxing!) After tomorrow and Friday, I will have nine days straight off work, and I have no plans to check my work email or even check in with the office. After so many major changes in the last few months, running a great marathon and doing some amazing hiking might be just what I need to reset.
Has anyone else struggled with this? I could really use some advice.