Ok – time to wake up and get going again.
A combination of stress, anxiety, injury and just plain laziness has taken me down.
I have been on a slow decline running wise and a slow incline weight wise since the Dopey Challenge in January 2015.
Some quick history:
I struggled a bit through spring 2015 with some health issues and still got some decent miles in but nothing like I did in 2014.
I started 2016 with a run streak that lasted until April before it crapped out due to a work project going late one night, and after that a general level of stress and malaise seeped into my running in general.
I figured I would get pepped up again for training for the 2017 Goofy Challenge…but that didn’t happen. Between stress and an issue with my Achilles, I went into that race in poor shape and carrying more weight than I would like.
After Goofy, I figured I would at least get more motivated to run the Spruce Woods 50k in May…but again no luck. I was able to train some but work stress hammered me hard and I did not train well.
That then brings me to now…not much training, even more weight gain (some of it seemed very sudden), very stressed out, feel almost scared a good chunk of the time and motivation in the toilet.
Now, I know that most people will use running as a way to vent the stress…but what do you do when running becomes a source of stress?
I have been worried about how much slower I am getting, how much less endurance I have, how my ankle keeps seeming to get hurt…and on and on…I am a bit of a worrier, in case it wasn’t obvious.
Add this on top of work stress and it feels like constant stress and anxiety. And unfortunately, if I’m not running I will deal with stress with sugar. Which then leads to more weight and the spiral continues.
So how to fix this? Suggestions are welcome but below are my thoughts on some changes I am making to get going again.
I put a bar fridge in my office at work – this gives me a few things:
- I will not eat out at lunch as often on work days – saving money and greasy burger calories
- Packing lunches will make me more conscious of what I am eating
- I am able to do smaller more frequent meals during the day to help the metabolism
- I can keep various lower calorie condiments and such at work to add flavour to what I am eating making it more likely that I will continue to want to eat my packed lunches
I have switched my breakfast from quick toast to a couple quick scrambled eggs. The extra protein should help me in general but I know I have issues with weight gain due to bread (if I have bagels for breakfast a few days in a row it isn’t unusual for me to gain a few pounds) so reducing bread while eating something that will last longer in my system is a good thing. Way back when I started this blog I lost a lot of weight tied into having a high protein breakfast and I am going to break those habits back out.
Focused races – I was waffling on up to 4 races in September – 2 marathons, a half and a 24 hour ultra. I was thinking about all of these while knowing that I need to get a decent time in for a half or a full marathon by October 3rd for coral placement for the Dopey Challenge in January 2018.
This means I had to consciously drop even thinking about 2 of them (the marathons) – focus on getting ready for the half and leave the ultra on the back burner once I see if I can get running properly again.
Have a plan! I have roughed out a training plan similar to an 18 week plan and I started that this week. If I follow it, I will be near marathon ready come late October / early November. I will then have a few months from there to really focus on the back to back to back to back running I need to do in January for the Dopey Challenge.
Actually stick to the plan! About 5 days in and the average isn’t going great here but I kind of figured it would take time to build up and I am working on getting that mental strength back again.
Blog! Blogging has fully died on me – both here and in a few other places so I am going to have to revive that. That may mean random nonsense and simple reports of how I ran this day or that day but I need to start somewhere.
Vlog? I enjoyed yapping at the camera with my thoughts after the Spruce Woods Ultra 50K race (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97OsS0WJHZE&t=337s) and I think I will try some more of that in the near future. I have recorded a few thing that I still need to edit and see if they are ok but I have some ideas and look forward to seeing how that goes.
Walk! I am going to start having to walk more – I will still probably run at least one of the dogs (the one that enjoys it) but I will need to walk them longer and more frequently. It will be good for me and for them!
Review what supplements I am taking. I was taking a handful of different things every day – most to do with maybe helping with my mood – but I have cut back and not taken anything for over a week. I will be bringing back in vitamin D soon (especially for days I don’t get out to run in the sun or play around in the pool) and may also bring back in the Omega 3 supplements. Most everything else I will leave on the shelf.
….I’m not 100% sure what else at this point but that is a solid start.
Here we go!