Wednesday, July 8, 2015


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.


  1. YES! I completely understand. I'm really bad about using my vacation days, and have reached this point before too. And on top of that when work isn't challenging me, I get a restless mind too. Sounds like you need a break. A few things I do to help in times like this is make a short to-do list each morning complete with some really easy items. It makes me feel like I am moving forward without putting every single thing I have to do on it. Also listen to your body. I find when I take time off running, starting back up becomes pressure filled and I way over think it. I usually just force myself to go for a run without a watch or plan (no pressure) and it ends up better than expected. :)

    1. I'm relieved I'm not the only one who feels this way! I like the mini to do list's way too easy to let the little things fall to the wayside, even when it would be so easy to knock them out! Maybe when we come home, I will do a few gentle runs around the neighborhood just to explore.

  2. I've felt similar, especially now that classes are over and I'm not working as much as I'm used to during the summer. I think it's important to remember that you deserve some days off, and sometimes it's okay to take a step back. While it is different, it doesn't necessarily mean it is bad! Once you take some time,hopefully the anxiety will subside. I find peace in knowing there is only so much I can do, and sometimes that's all that is in my control. I hope you start feeling better soon!

    1. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this feeling! I'm already feeling much more relaxed now that I'm on vacation. I didn't realize just how much pointless worrying I was doing until now. I think I will be in a much better place when I come home!

  3. I completely understand where you're coming from! I used to excel in academics, that was my thing. But after graduating college and entering the work force, I struggled to find my "thing" again. Not that I wasn't good at my job, but it just was't as fulfilling as I had hoped. It's still a struggle, I feel like I need to find things to substitute for my lack of excitement about my career. Running really helps and also finding new ways to make running more than just a chore. I like trying out new running courses and routes, going on a trail run, finding new friends to run with, or just taking short weeks, where all my runs are 4 miles or less and there's no pressure. When I take the pressure off of my performance or time, I find I enjoy the runs more.

    Also, I'd suggest taking a stab at some retail therapy. I'm always amped to go on a run after I buy a new tank or new pair of shorts. Something about the new factor makes you feel like you need a good hard work out to wear in the new item :)

    1. Wow - we sound like twins. I defined myself by grades so long, that I feel a little lost in my career. Obviously, I want to really well, but it's not measured the same way at all. I like the sound of retail therapy - I might just need a few new pairs of shorts!