As I was telling Rich about my dream, he said, "OMG, I can't believe you're telling me this," and I was all like, "OMG, it really isn't that bad." I could have been yelling, "OMG, I'm running a marathon with Joey McIntyre!" But that's not the point. The point is that this dream highlights my current struggles with running. I've been running for 20 years now and I've always taken time off here and there (for example, during tax season) and I've never had this much difficulty getting back into the swing of it. This time around, I've been plagued by ridiculous "injuries" (I haven't even told you about my tight calf last week that thankfully I was able to work through and is now gone) and it's taking me forever to build my speed up.
So last week, as I was struggling to maintain a pace I wanted to, I began to think about what's different in my life. It wasn't easy to start up running last year but once I did, I could see progress. What's different now?
- Well, I'm a year older. That shouldn't make that much of a difference.
- My eating habits haven't changed.
- I'm getting more sleep.
- Work. I'M STRESSED OUT ALL THE TIME.
When I transitioned to a four day, reduced schedule work week fifteen months ago, life was a bit less stressful. It was great having that day to just be at home or use for appointments. A lot has changed at work over the past year and now that four day work week is causing a ton of stress. I'm not convinced that going back to a full time schedule would be less stressful either. I obviously can't go into a lot of detail here so let's just leave it with me trying to mentally manage my stress load. For now.
Interestingly enough, Runner's World tweeted a link last week to an article discussing how stress could affect your running.
Sunday night, for the first time in over a year, I ran three miles. It was 80 degrees out with 90% humidity so my time (34:49) wasn't great but you know what? It doesn't have to be. I ran that same three mile loop again Wednesday night. Baby steps.
(Rich and I are tentatively scheduled to run a 5K at the end of the month.)