I doubt I am the only person confessing to it at this time of year, but I have well and truly run myself into the ground. The irony of it being that very little actual running was involved.
Where I work is generally quite conducive to a regular schedule. Engineers love routine and they hate rushing a project, so it is very rare that I am asked to hurry up, cut corners or stress out about anything other than ‘measuring twice and cutting once’, as they say.
But not in November and December. At the end of the year everyone goes crazy. Orders are shoved out the door, quotes must be completed ASAP and if that project isn’t done yesterday then you’d better believe you’re not going home yet.
Naturally this makes for a very relaxing environment.
As I said in my last post, I really did need a break, a physical time off to let my body just rest, and I thought perhaps I needed it mentally too. So I took about two weeks off and then tried to recommit to regular runs again.
Unfortunately, by then Christmas and work madness had completely set in and I was in no position to get up at 5am to run – I was having enough trouble dragging myself out of bed at 7!
Work was draining me in that ‘always on’ way that it does, and yet, when I got home a list of things longer than my arm awaited me.
I won’t go into detail as to what they are, I am sure your list is just as huge, but it all got on top of me and I sort of threw my hands in the air and said ‘I give up’. I decided to listen to my body, embrace a slightly longer break and live a little.
And just like that the voice of the devil on my shoulder got a whole lot louder.
When I came home from work I ‘relaxed’ on the couch with a few wines, stayed up late watching telly and partied my way through several weeks of Christmas celebrations trying to unwind. Sure, I managed to run – once or twice a week. Maybe. At the most.
But you know what? I was actually finding myself feeling more and more stressed.
Anxieties and worries began to loom large, my enthusiasm began to seep away and before I knew it, even if I wanted to go for a run I found that I usually didn’t have the energy to do so.
Added to which, after a week or so of this it seemed everyone from my husband to my sister to my mother were suggesting I might need to go for a run, but I didn’t want to. I couldn’t.
What were they trying to say? Couldn’t they see I was flat out? Too busy doing important things like working, and organising a 16 person sit down Christmas dinner whilst juggling a child, two cats, four chickens and a baby husband?
Did they want me to die of overwork and stress and/or rot in jail from murdering my co-worker who was, if I am being charitable about it, a bit stressed out herself?
(If I am not being charitable then let’s say she is acting like a bitch on wheels).
Then hubby sent me a text:
I know you’ve probably read lots of these sort of articles but did you consider that you’re feeling guilty about exercising because we’re so busy?
And there was a link. He’d realised before I did why I was putting off running:
7 Ways to Take Guilt-Free ‘Me’ Time.
So I read it, and I had a think, and I started making plans.
Hubby was right. I got up that morning – yesterday – and made a pledge:
Between now and New Years Day I am going to run every single day. Even if I’m exhausted. Even if I only run 2k. Even if I walk more than I run. Every day.
After that I’ll have my base back, it’ll be 2015, I can take a day or two off before Portsea Twilight and begin to, yet again, attempt to plan The Year of the Ultra. (Will she manage it in 2015? Oooh I’ll bet the suspense is killing you!)
You see, I had read those sort of articles before, but…I guess I had forgotten about their message.I hope I never forget again though, because after just two runs I am already remembering exactly why I need to exercise like I need to breathe. Especially when I’m busy.
Next time I forget that I hereby give everyone I know permission to whack me over the head with a reminder:
Run René Run!