This past week was the fourth of an eighteen week cycle for preparing for a late November marathon, and overall I am feeling fantastic. I went into week four knowing it was Shark Week for me (sorry guys, if you don’t know what that means, I bet you’re guessing correctly now), in addition to a heavy little season for me personally. Just had some personal stuff going on. I knew it all would be happening at the same time, the intense emotions and the hormones and the attendant physical exhaustion. No doubt, I was grateful to have the freedom to run and tend to my well-being in the midst of it all. So grateful. Knowing how to care for yourself and being free to do so is the best feeling. Running covers all the bases, you know? Emotional, hormonal, muscular, aerobic, imaginative. Everything feels better after a good run. After a few days of good running? Well, that’s partly why it’s addictive.
Looking at the previous three weeks, I saw a nine mile total deficit. I had been feeling pretty good and was mentally satisfied because running was consistently in balance with the rest of life. But the nine mile deficit was eventually bugging me so last Sunday night I had this bright idea to “use” those extra nine miles in the coming week to battle emotional and physical fatigue. It’s funny how this actually works, the relationship between exertion and relaxation, the therapy of sweat. I am crazy for it.
Well, haha, that most optimistic intention was great for exactly three days. I tacked on extra miles Monday through Wednesday and was feeling spectacular. By Thursday my tune had changed, so I was even happier to have run ahead of schedule early in the week.
Monday: Six miles on the treadmill, easy pace. I actually was so sad and distracted that morning that I had to run three, take a break for water and a handful of grapes (somehow this helped me collect my thoughts), then finish with three more. I felt completely better by the end of the hour. Ready to really start the week’s various work.
Tuesday: Eight extremely sweaty miles at the Harrah loop. Very happy. Decent pace. Stayed busy at the farm the rest of the day.
Wednesday: Six miles at home again, this time around the back field, nice and early in the morning. We had an electrician appointment set for mid-morning, so that motivated me to lace up immediately after morning chores and be showered and dressed before my own breakfast. After the repairs I worked around the house and on writing projects all day, which was restful and productive, then Handsome and I met friends for an early dinner. I overindulged a little with chips and quesadillas but probably burned it all off laughing. We love our friends! Good people are good for the soul. They might not know what I was dealing with emotionally in those days, but laughing with them was so helpful.
Thursday: My energy plummeted on Thursday and I was hurting a lot. I skipped a workout in order to funnel all of my energy to the house, farm, and errands in town. All of that kept me busy enough. I honestly had to make a huge effort just to get through the day. Later I amazed myself by falling asleep before sunset, ha. Sometimes it cannot be helped, and on these days I try to talk to myself the way I would talk to one of my daughters in the same condition. No reprimanding, just compassion and encouragement. These days are rare. Life goes on.
Friday: Rest day. I had a gardeners’ meeting in OKC Friday morning, too early to squeeze in a run first, then Handsome and I went on a lunch date together and on a short series of errands on the way back to the farm. I had already planned on this being a rest day, complete with shampooed hair (kind of a big deal for me); I just hadn’t planned on it being the week’s second consecutive rest day. So I was beginning to feel twitchy and guilty about straying from my “extra miles” plan. Oh well. The day was happy and our food was delicious then we rested at home together with lots of love. Win.
Saturday: I woke up well before sunrise to get caffeinated and dressed for a long run, drove to the Harrah loop, and thoroughly enjoyed eleven miles. It felt so great to be in the cool air, watch a slow, colorful daybreak, and build up that deep inner heat for a long time. I was feeling like myself again, magically, which is just the way Shark Week works. I got home with a bag of donuts for Handsome and was on cloud nine to be “reset.” We enjoyed the rest of the day together. So much. xoxo
Sunday: I ended up staying un-sweaty and hung out with my guy for a long day of walking around the zoo, which was so beautiful. We hadn’t toured the zoo in warm weather for years! For some reason we have been visiting only in January, really ever since we bought this farm. It’s weird. After the zoo we lingered over lunch at Hollie’s Flat Iron Grill. I had a most excellent hamburger loaded with smoked hatch peppers and was happy. Afterwards we stopped at a local Mexican market where I found a bunch of delicious treasures. Have you seen the mini watermelons? My nutrition by Sunday night was pretty excellent.
Weekly total: 31, my exact mileage plan. Had I not tacked on extra miles Monday through Wednesday, I would have missed the mark by a lot and been more frustrated. More importantly, I might have felt even worse on Thursday and Friday or not coped well with those difficult emotions earlier in the week. In the scheme of things, this was all a pretty mild fare to pay for being a healthy woman of child bearing age. Ha. Also, it bears mentioning, yoga is so helpful. Do yoga, friends. Eat well, run a lot, and do yoga.
I am so happy and grateful to be on a roll, to be building this momentum finally. As I type this, week five has already started great. How are you doing? What habits do you keep in your life to stay feeling good and cope in healthy ways with hard emotions?
“Eliminating the things you love is not wellness.
Wellness feeds your soul and makes you feel good.”