Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Doldrums


I’m insecure.  That sounds awful to say, but I think everyone is, to some degree or another.  Am I more insecure than other people, or just more aware of my insecurities than most people …. Or is that the same thing ?  So;  What’s the antidote for insecurity ?  Confidence !  The things that make me confident lately are that I was able to lose a bunch of weight, that I’ve gotten pretty good at running, that I was training for a marathon, and my social life seemed to be on the upswing. Plus I was running about 50 endorphin producing miles per week. 

So I ran my marathon and felt like I didn’t do very well.

I’ve only run a few times since the race to allow for sufficient recovery

I’ve gained 10 pounds.

I’m a little more withdrawn than normal, and not seeking out social activities as much.

I’m not training for anything at the moment ( although I plan to start soon )

It’s no wonder my mood is in the crapper !!!  I’ve stopped doing all the things I tend to rely on for confidence.   I’ve been through this enough before to know what’s happening, and how to fix it.   Getting my weekly mileage back up will impact almost all of those things in a positive way.  I’ve been telling myself that I can’t really run too much because I’m still recovering from the marathon, but deep down I know that’s a rationalization. I could still hit the gym and do some weights, an elliptical, the rowing machine, or just some core strengthening exercises.  If I had the motivation and the mindset, I’d get to the gym and figure out what to do when I got there.

The insidious thing about depression is that even when you know what the cure is; the more you need it, the harder it becomes to do it !!  A co-worker of mine has an expression that I absolutely love:  “Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”  ( ……insert a long pause here to let that sink in……)   It would be very easy for me to come up with a “perfect” or ideal plan to get my running mojo back.  I could make it very complicated with daily schedules, and how many miles and what pace to run them at…I could throw in some cross training, and really take it wayyyyy too far.  Every added detail is a potential problem/excuse to postpone getting started.  My legs, aren’t ready, I have to watch the kids that night, I have to be fresh for an early meeting, it’ll be warmer tomorrow..blah, blah, freakin, blahhhhh.  If I step back a few steps and realize that if I just put on my running shoes, go out my door, and stand on my front steps for 30 minutes, I will have done more today than yesterday.  I will be making progress and moving in the right direction.   There’s another expression that comes to mind.  You can’t steer a parked car.  If I’m doing something, I can adjust it to make it better, but I have to be doing SOMETHING….even if it’s not ideal or perfect.    So…come hell or high water, I am going to go running tonight.  I am hoping to get to the gym and just get active for 45 minutes or so.  If anything gets in the way of that, I will run outside tonight, no matter what.  I have no pre-set distance or time goals, because then I could just tell myself that I won’t be able to go that far, so I probably need to rest.    Tomorrow I have an opportunity to run with a group so that will give me a little added motivation, but we’ll worry about tomorrow when it gets here.  Tonight, I’ll run, and I will feel better.  When I feel better, it’s easier to run more.  I will have started the self improvement cycle and be on my way.

My plan is to start a 12 week training plan next week.  That will provide some goals and external motivation that will go a long way towards getting me back on track.  I’m hoping to use tomorrow nights run as a baseline starting point for my training.  It’s a weekly, timed 5k race.  I’d like to go at it fairly hard and then do that a few times throughout my 12 week period to see how I’m progressing.  I know improvements at the 5k distance aren’t necessarily relative to improvements at the marathon distance, but it’ll be some reassurance that I’m not sliding backwards in my conditioning and running.

I need to listen to my own advice and…

..just don’t stop running.


4 comments:

  1. There's stuff all over the internet about post marathon "blues" ya know...

    I gained about 7 or 8 lbs. during my Philly marathon training and/or afterward. Some say your body retains a little weight for post-marathon recovery but I don't know. I'm still working on losing the last 2 pounds that I gained and it's been over two months. If all goes as it has been going, that weight should be gone before the end of February.

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  2. I was aware of the potential for a slump after the race, but this seems "bigger" somehow. Maybe because what I read about happened to someone else, and this is happening to me ! I got a decent run in last night and a bit of a workout as well. It felt good. I'm also going for a run tonight so I think things are on the upswing. Don't sweat the weight too much. It'll come off eventually and until it does, think of it as a training aid. Your legs are doing a little more work pushing 112 pounds down the road instead of 110 :)

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  3. I was aware of the potential for a slump after the race, but this seems "bigger" somehow. Maybe because what I read about happened to someone else, and this is happening to me ! I got a decent run in last night and a bit of a workout as well. It felt good. I'm also going for a run tonight so I think things are on the upswing. Don't sweat the weight too much. It'll come off eventually and until it does, think of it as a training aid. Your legs are doing a little more work pushing 112 pounds down the road instead of 110 :)

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  4. So what does it mean for me if I am down to running 2 or 3 times a week and I feel awesome...?

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