This blog is typically an amalgam of poorly written race recaps and random musings of no importance to anyone but myself. I rarely get personal up in this space, but I’ve been feeling pretty crappy lately so forgive me for this incredibly self-indulgent post.
It’s hard to point the finger at any one particular thing in my life right now as the root cause of my general malaise. Really, if I were to iterate out the entire list of complaints, it would all be first world problems to the utmost extent. (Which also adds on to my guilt … there are people with legitimate issues in the world, and I’m upset because it’s cold out and I’m not running as well as I’d like. I mean, I’m giving myself a huge middle finger right now for being spoiled and bratty.)
The easiest place to start is with work. I’m not sure when, but at a certain point, work became more stressful and depressing than challenging and interesting. I never realized how important having a fulfilling job was to me until mine became not so fulfilling anymore (you don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone? pave paradise … ok, I’m done now). While I know that it is a temporary issue, and that I’m also lucky to even have a job, it’s definitely affected my mental well-being.
It’s also led to quite a few more happy hours. Which are absolutely great – I love nothing more than blowing off steam with co-workers whose company I thoroughly enjoy. It has not been so generous to my waistline, however. As I eat and drink away my troubles, I’ve also managed to gain about 8 pounds from where I was last summer. In terms of vanity weight, that’s hardly anything and I recognize that. But when you’re desperately trying to get back in PR shape, having an extra anything on you is a step in the opposite direction.
There are a lot of different studies, calculators, etc out there but in general, I’ll use the 2 seconds/mile/pound guideline: for each pound lost, you gain about 2 seconds in speed over 1 mile, so we’ll round down and say 26 seconds faster in the half for each pound lost. Trying to PR at my current weight therefore means a 208 second handicap, or a roughly 3.5 minute difference. That’s huge!
So, work stress, feeling bad about my weight. Add in a little personal life drama. Then throw in the fact that I’m not where I’d like to be running-wise (likely due to the aforementioned weight issue, but also due to being a nutty, overanalyzing head case about it right now). Then let’s add in the most miserable winter I’ve seen in years where it’s grey, snowy, and bitterly cold for months at a time. It’s all interrelated. Feeling bad in one sector leads to bad decisions in another sector which leads to more bad feelings in yet another sector. Nothing is clicking.
I recognized about a week or so ago that I’ve been allowing myself to basically wallow in half-misery/half-okay-ness (totally a word) for quite awhile now and it’s probably time to suck it up and start doing something to change it. When it feels like everything is out of your control, it’s really hard to have a positive, can-do attitude towards making changes. But even when we feel powerless, I suppose we need to look for even the small things that we can control. I can’t fix my work problems right now, but I can fix how I react to them. I can cut back on the booze and the junk food, and you know what? My weight will probably start to regulate itself given enough time. It will make me a less unpleasant person to be around because I won’t feel like a pile of shit all the time, so maybe it will allow some personal relationships a chance to improve.
All of this is easier said than done, but I’ve been plugging away at it for a week now. Yesterday, even though I physically did not feel stellar on my long run, my friends and I spent some time planning a fall marathon(s?) and bouncing around some ideas about what we wanted to do. And for the first time in a very long time … I started to feel more like myself again.
I can’t say I’m where I want to be quite yet but hopefully I am on the path to the place where everything starts clicking.