Monday, November 28, 2011

Speak da Troof Sunday: You can't run a half marathon every day.

If you just read the title and you're having a "well, duh" moment... bear with me.

I am easily disappointed in myself - it's not my most attractive or productive quality, and it's something that I am actively working on.  But it's true, and it means that I beat myself up about things often.  If I miss a workout, instead of being forgiving (which I would be to someone else), I sometimes slip into the bad habit of telling myself I am a failure and feeling horribly guilty about it.  Again... working on it!


But since I've stepped up my fitness level (read: started actually exercising, instead of counting walking from my bed to my couch as a workout) in the past few years, my high expectations for myself have gone to a new level.  I think it started when I did P90X in the summer of 2010.  I'd been exercising regularly before that, but I hadn't stuck to anything that regimented before, and I had definitely never done workouts that difficult every day.  I had fantastic results from it, I loved the way it made me feel, and I felt so incredibly proud of myself for sticking to it.  But then the 90 days were over, and I fell into an exercise limbo for several months.  I had gone from having an entire basement to myself to exercise in to living in a relatively small apartment with 5 other girls and sharing one living room with one DVD player between all of us.  I also went from working zero hours a week to working at least 30 hours a week, at an exhausting job outside in the Florida heat and humidity.  I did a few P90X workouts here and there, but I couldn't make myself stick to the plan.  And instead of realizing that P90X wasn't going to work for me in my new environment and shifting to something that would work, I instead told myself that if I wasn't doing P90X, it wasn't worth working out at all.

I've tried to get better with this mentality, but I'm afraid with the half marathon now under my belt, this issue has resurfaced.  The problem is that I've proven to myself that I can do very intense workouts, like P90X and TurboFire, as well as very intense and long workouts, like all of the long runs I did during training.  So I get whacked out and tell myself that since I can do those intense workouts every day, that I have to do them every day.  But you know what?  That simply isn't true.

I'm still learning, and I know I'll continue to have mental setbacks, but I realized today that I can't and I don't have to run a half marathon every day.  Or do P90X or TurboFire every day.  Let's face it - some days you feel like running a whole lot, lifting weight for hours, or doing some hardcore cardio.  But some days you feel like getting back in bed and watching romantic comedies on Netflix all day.  And that is okay.  Today, I planned on going for a run.  But you know what sounded really miserable?  Running.  So I went for a long walk with my mom, my sister, and the Bonster Monster, and it felt great.  It wasn't the hardest activity I've ever done, and I don't think I torched a whole lot of calories, but it is what I felt up to.  And I'm starting to realize that taking care of yourself isn't just about eating right and exercising regularly... it's about showing yourself compassion and doing what feels right.

As for now... sleep feels super right.  So I'm going to be compassionate to myself and go to bed.  Sweet dreams, all!

7 comments:

  1. hey! new reader over from hungry runner girl! i just wanted to say that it's really easy to get overly hard on ourselves, runners tend to be a little type-a! haha. but here are a few things i'll say: just like u said, it's not all black-and-white or all-or-nothing type of thing. getting in A workout is much better than doing nothing at all. second, when u're training, u shouldn't be doing a hard workout every single day...part of a training program are rest and easy days! so enjoy them because they are there for a reason, so that u feel fresh and ready for the next time u do go hard. :) so listen to ur body, keep setting goals, but also have the flexibility to be easy on urself sometimes. hope u enjoyed that walk! :)

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  2. I can relate to this too! It's so easy to get side-tracked for me and then I just wanna throw the towel in completely and then I struggle with the same guilt issues. Also, I love blogs but sometimes reading these excessive miles one can run in one workout etc. it makes me be hard on myself but sometimes I have to just stop and realize that these people didn't just wake up and decide that they were gonna be able to work out that long and hard, they had to build their way up to it and each fitness journey is just that, a journey! It will differ for each person because we are all so different. Good for you for realizing it's okay to take it easy at times. I think those realizations in the long run keep you from burning out completely!!

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  3. It definitely takes work! I still beat myself up, too. I've gotten better- especially in running- over the last year or so. The best way for me to stay committed is by keeping a race on the calendar. I need to have something to work toward or I just flounder.

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  4. When you exercise on an elliptical with upper body movement capability, you are able to work a greater muscle group into your core workout.

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  5. @Cait the Arty Runnerchick

    Hi Cait! Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog! :)

    You're completely right about it not being all-or-nothing... and I needed the reminder that part of training is rest! I love rest. I should remember that more often, ha!

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  6. @Meghan

    Meghan, I'm the same way when I read a lot of running blogs - everyone is running so much! And so fast! I sometimes feel really lazy looking at them. But you're right, every fitness journey is unique.

    As much as I hate quoting Tony Horton (because I resent that he is right sometimes), one of my favorite things that he says in a P90X workout is "Rome was not built in a day and neither was your body." Makes me giggle, but it's true!

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  7. @Amylee

    I think the best way for you to stay committed is to look down at your legs... because I saw those pictures of you in the compression shorts, and those legs are smokin'!

    ... but you're right, having a goal definitely helps. You're a smart lady, Amylee, I always love your comments.

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