Give Yourself a Break

Whenever I have a race coming up, I always tend to think back on how the training cycle went. It helps me to mentally prepare by reviewing how I’ve physically prepared.
I have a race on Saturday, but this time it’s a little different.

I’ve had eight weeks between the Teton Dam Marathon and this race, the Idaho Falls Marathon. Those eight weeks have probably been some of the most stressful times I’ve had in a long time.
Finishing up my bachelors degree, doing a full-time internship, studying to take a national exam to be a certified therapeutic recreation specialist, taking care of the house, my husband, being involved in church activities, family events, and trying to get enough sleep to have energy throughout the day also thank you caffeine.

Oh and continuing to train for a marathon on top of all of that.

Stress.

I would like to think back at these eight weeks and see my training logs as all checkmarks, every run completed, speed work and weightlifting done, but that is not the case.

Slept through my alarm again, so looks like another skipped run today. Too exhausted after work, so I’m skipping the gym again today.
Initially, I felt guilt, which turned into feeling unprepared, which turned into a lack of motivation, which turned into a lack of excitement for this race.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had stressful times where we just can’t get everything done. ITS OK TO TAKE A BREAK.
The past few days I’ve been reflecting on the past eight weeks – going from such a high note to such a low one in my mindset for running. Don’t get me wrong, I love running just the same, but the burn out was real in that time. Burn out from life stress. I believe I needed to take those days off, for my physical and mental health.

We tried to hide when things go wrong and we try to push through the hard times, because that’s all we can do right? If I learned one thing these past eight weeks, it’s that I am human.
Being human, the greatest service we can do to ourselves is to listen to our human body – mine was obviously trying to tell me something as I always felt tired and my body was aching. Why does it take us so long to figure that out? (Thank you type-a personality).

So looking back at the missed runs and workouts I believe that I did my body a service because I needed that rest.
Life can take a toll.
Stress comes from every direction.
When I sleep through my alarms and end up missing my run because of it, with no other time in the day to get it done, I realize that my body probably needs that sleep.

I did take a break, lightened up on myself, and you know what? My motivation came back. I’m feeling ready to take on the marathon this weekend!

I’m working on being kinder to my body and giving it the proper rest that it needs both physically and mentally.
Do yourself a favor, be a little easier on yourself, take a break once in a while.
A guilt-free break.
I promise that your body and mind will feel better if you do.

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