You know whats stressful?
It’s that time of year where everything seems to be overwhelmingly unmanageable. My second round of midterms are on the horizon, the holiday season is upon us, and my half marathon training last week was quite questionable.
As of late, I’ve been focused on making sure I was getting the times I needed to complete my half marathon under two hours. I was pushing myself to the point where I wasn’t pacing myself well, but instead awkwardly having bursts of energy followed by slow dragged out mileage.
I was all over the place. Tuesday I ran my four miles in under 30 minutes, which I was ecstatic about and to this day I still have NO IDEA how I ran that fast… but then Wednesday came along and I put myself through a slow, uncomfortable six miles. Thursday wasn’t any better. You would’ve thought I had never run a day in my life with how winded and out-of-breath I was.
And then the kicker… Sunday was my long run. I was suppose to do 11 miles.
I did 5.5 miles.
Luckily, none of you had to witness my post-run depression on Sunday. What in the HELL was going on? I just couldn’t wrap my head around why I was performing so inconsistently.
So you know what this girl did?
First: I got over it. My runs were out of whack, end of story. Time to move on. I have no sympathy for ongoing self-pity and I wasn’t about to make an exception for myself.
Second: I stopped focusing on my runs, time, and goals for the time being. I needed to tone down the pressure I was putting on myself because obviously it wasn’t helping. Yes I want to finish my race in 2 hours, but I also want to enjoy my training.
Third: I went to Bikram Yoga on Monday and brewed myself a cup of warm tea.
I can’t explain how relaxing a night of yoga can be. It’s freeing to not focus on a “workout” and instead focus on how you are feeling, where your body is at, and release all the stress that comes with day-to-day life.
I do Bikram Yoga about 15-20 minutes away from my campus and this Monday it was exactly what I needed. 90 minutes in the 104 degree room was my own escape from all the pressure I was putting on myself. I sweated out the self-doubt, anxiety, and nerves that were inhibiting me from running well.
Not to mention I got some deep stretching that did my hip flexors nothing but good.
After coming home, and brewing up organic Pomegranate Green Tulsi Tea that my friend Kelsey sent my way, I finally felt the much needed calm completely take over. The potent smell and warm liquid sweetened with a touch of sugar was the cherry on top of my perfect night sundae.
Sometimes you need to stop looking at yourself as an athlete and remember to look at yourself as a person. It’s so easy to get caught up in accomplishing goals, beating times, and raising the bar that your passion turns into just another responsibility.
The best place for me to do this is on my 71″ x 26″ mat. It’s just me on my small rectangle overcoming myself.