If you woke up this morning and thought, “Gosh, I really hope someone posts a self-indulgent, photo-free blog post today whining about their first world problems,” well: do I have great news for you! I think this post could fulfill your desires quite nicely 🙂
I. Am. Struggling. The holidays, in my experience, are rarely even half of what they’re cracked up to be in terms of peace on earth and goodwill towards men. While I like Thanksgiving and Christmas as days, the time in between the two of them (and, to an extent, New Year’s, although does anyone really do any actual work in that week between Christmas and New Year’s? I feel like Dec. 26-30 are the Friday of the calendar year: we all show up to work and pretend we’re going to do something, but in reality, everyone knows nothing productive or worthwhile is going to happen, and we all probably should’ve just stayed home.) is brutal. This year in particular I’m really feeling the grind, not just of the holidays, but of life in general.
Work has been wearing me down something awful lately. I had a lot more duties dumped on my plate a little more than a month ago, and while I can handle it, it’s been tough to keep up. I’ve been so overwhelmed by the sheer number of never-ending projects I’ve had to manage that, more often than I have time for, I’ve metaphorically thrown my hands in the air and said, “Forget this! If you need me, I’ll be on BuzzFeed for the rest of the day.” On top of the assignments I have at work, I’ve had another major project going on for the past six weeks or so that I’ve had (and still have) to keep quiet until everything wraps up. I’ve devoted a fair amount of time to this extracurricular project, but not as much as I’d like to because I simply haven’t had time to attend to that project as much as it needs attending to. I can talk about it with a select group of people, which helps, but I still feel like I’m leading a double life. To my surprise, I’ve found that the project has gotten more stressful as I get farther into it, not less stressful like I anticipated, which certainly doesn’t make things easier.
I know I complained about feeling like my life was out of control a little while ago, and mentioning how I hoped having a half marathon training plan to follow would help in that department. It hasn’t. This has been, without question, the worst training cycle I’ve ever had. I’ve bailed on scheduled workouts to do other things (other fitness things, at least, like climbing, but still…climbing isn’t really an acceptable substitute for a 40-minute run). I got sick and took almost a full week off from exercise. I’ve run, in any capacity whatsoever, all of six times in the past 24 days, and every single long run has been pure misery. My splits, on the surface, haven’t been totally atrocious–I’m averaging somewhere in the 10:20 range, for the most part–but in this kind of weather, I usually do my long runs at more of a 9:45-10:00 pace, and every single step usually does not feel like a battle. But then again, how could it not right now? Of course running six miles this past Saturday was hard: I haven’t even come close to running six miles since the marathon, and I’ve barely been running at all (or at least it certainly feels that way). I’ve been eating my way through every holiday treat Trader Joe’s has on its shelves, plus all the usual office treats, PLUS the Hanukkah feast we have in our lunch room right now, with bagels and lox and cake and donuts and cookies and chocolate coins as far as the eye can see. My diet is a joke, my training is barely existent: obviously my runs have suffered. As much as I’d like to commit to this to have something–anything–in my life that has a nice sense of order, all of these workouts (aside from climbing) have felt like a total drag. I suppose the most obvious solution, then, would be to scrap this half marathon plan entirely and only go climbing from now until ?, but that’s not at all within my budget, from a financial standpoint and a time standpoint (commuting to anywhere where I can climb takes a lot more time than commuting to the gym, or commuting to my bedroom to put on my running shoes).
I’m overwhelmed, and as a result, wholly unmotivated to do much of anything productive. In running–marathoning, especially–a phrase often comes up when you have particularly long runs on your calendar: Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Run the mile you’re in. Focus on what you’re doing right now, literally take this run one step at a time. Mile 20 will be there for you when you get to it, but right now, you’re in mile .25, so pay attention to that, and deal with mile 20 after you pass mile 19.99. While I could, and, I’d argue, should, apply this mentality to the rest of my life, right now, the work + training + holiday parties/plans elephant looks less like a friendly pachyderm and more like a rabid wooly mammoth. I don’t know where to begin, so I choose to not begin at all, which, of course, leads to things not getting done, and not doing anything to help resolve my feelings of being overwhelmed.
I know that this is just a season–a season that will likely pass sometime in January (I hope). In the meantime, I’m trying to dig up some motivation to do, you know, anything other than watching yet another video on YouTube or reading yet another article on BuzzFeed, and writing dramatic blog posts about my ~feelings~. We will, ideally, return to our regularly scheduled lighthearted nonsense later this week, after I’ve gotten enough sleep to function as an adult again.