Introspection

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I’ve been thinking about my training and how it’s been going, in general, lately and while I want to be what I consider a good runner, maybe now just isn’t the time… I know I want to run a half marathon in under two hours, I want to finish a marathon and I want to finish a sprint triathlon. I have two halfs and a full marathon on my calendar this year, the triathlon had been my goal for 2015, but I think I need to take a step back and reassess.

What it all comes down to is stress. I’m fairly certain I have too much in my life. According to the APA, stress could be the cause of a lot of issues I’ve been having lately. Heartburn (which I’ve never had before in my life, even when I was pregnant), increased blood pressure (although I have a family history of hypertension), random bouts of nausea, drastic change in PMS symptoms, fatigue and change in appetite. I thought the heartburn was just from getting older, which may be the case, but it could also apparently be stress. I had no idea why I randomly wanted to vomit or why I’d be starving some days and hardly eat anything others. I thought maybe my BC pill was causing the PMS symptoms… It kind of seems to make sense that they are all stress related because I can’t directly link them to anything else.

The next step is to figure out if or how the stress is affecting my training. I feel like there is something holding me back, but I’m not sure what it is. I thought it may be that I didn’t really believe I could, but people accomplish things like marathons all the time, so there isn’t any reason for me to think that. My husband told me that I have some kind of mental block when it comes to running, I haven’t had my moment where everything clicks yet and I just need to be patient because it will eventually happen. I’m waiting for my “a ha” moment when it comes to running. What if the stress is blocking my moments from happening?

I was reading an article on scienceofrunning.com and he was talking about how stress affects athletes in training. Basically he says that the body can only handle so much stress, if that is from everyday life or athletic training, your body doesn’t distinguish. So, what I gathered from the article- My body is having a hard time adapting to the stress present in my non-athletic life, so when I stress my body physically by running, it doesn’t have as much capability to adapt to that stress so I can progress in my running ability. My body is too busy trying to function with the outside stress to worry about gaining all the benefits of running.

So the next step is to figure out how to reduce the stress. That’s the tough part. I don’t feel there is really much that have influence over in my life that will impact stressors. I have to work and in order to work, I have to commute. Two stressors I can’t influence or change. I like spending time with my family (what little time I do get), but I don’t consider that to be a major stressor. I need to exercise (run) because I want it to become a stress reliever (even though currently I feel a lot of anxiety surrounding my training). Last but not least, life. So, I don’t know of a place to reduce the stress in my life, I just need to find a better way of coping. Running isn’t that coping method (yet) and I’ve tried yoga, not so much. My husband was also kind enough to get me a massage for Valentine’s Day, while that was nice during, afterward I didn’t really feel any relaxation benefit, meditation or Tai Chi maybe? I don’t really know to be honest. I know something’s got to give, I just don’t know what…

I have a feeling it will come in the form of running progress, goals and expectations. Maybe now just isn’t my time to find myself as a runner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to give up on running, it’s good for my health and eventually I still want to reach my running goals, but I think 2014 may not be the year for it. The good thing is that I know the current situation I’m in is only temporary. I won’t have a 3 hour commute to work for the rest of my life. That’s one of the good things about being married to a Marine, we move fairly often. My husband is doing great things with his running, accomplishing his goals and getting so much better right now. I’m jealous, but I also realize we’re two different people things won’t happen for the both of us at the same time/rate. So, I’m going to keep doing what I can but just lower my expectations a little bit.

One day it will happen, that day just may have to wait until we close the 29Palms chapter in our lives.

Resources:

http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2012/11/the-stress-of-life-how-stress-can.html

http://www.irunfar.com/2013/04/stress-and-running.html

https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/stress-body.aspx

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

https://www.heartmath.com/infographics/how-stress-effects-the-body.html

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