I cannot find enough hours in the day lately to do…well, anything. I’ve been busy in my professional and personal lives–though who isn’t?–and while I’m usually able to strike a good balance between the two, lately that’s been more challenging. I’ve had so much going on that I can’t remember the last time I got a full night of sleep, making it even more difficult to find the energy to do the things I want to do outside of work.
While I could talk about how this impacts my life in a bunch of different ways, the biggest source of frustration for me lately has been with working out, or, more specifically, training appropriately for my athletic (i.e.: running) goals. I think part of the problem stems from my current 10K training plan. I haven’t thoroughly analyzed all of my non-height-of-marathon-season weekday runs over the past few years, but from taking a brief glance at my training log, I’d guess that when it’s not August, my weekday runs average around 30-40 minutes. My 10K training plan, however, has called for runs that take much longer than that (because as you may recall, this training plan goes by time, not distance) – one 60-minute weekday easy run and one 45-minute weekday speedwork run just about every week, plus a 30-minute run, plus a long run that ranged in length depending on where I was in the program. On top of that, I’m also supposed to do two days of 30-45 minutes of strength training.
Honestly, that doesn’t sound like too demanding of a training plan, which is why I chose that one in the first place. I’m deeply unsatisfied with my usual level of strength training and very much want to incorporate more of it into my workout plans, but even with it written into my training plan, I still can’t make it happen. I’ve had such a hard time trying to figure out how to balance running with dance and rock climbing (I haven’t been climbing in nearly a month, which I think goes to show how much I’ve struggled to incorporate all the things I want to do fitness-wise into my routine), and as I’m staring down marathon season, I’m getting more and more stressed out by how on earth I’m ever going to make everything work.
Maybe I spend too much time on the Internet reading about how other people work out, but it seems to me like everything’s telling me if I want to get faster, I need to strength train more to get stronger, and run more to become a better runner. I desperately want to get faster–a lot faster, ideally–and while I know my current, ahem, penchant for chocolate chips and the ramifications such a penchant has on my body isn’t doing me any favors in the getting faster department, I also never feel like I’m putting in enough work to help me reach my goals. But I don’t know if that’s actually the case, or if I’m getting too caught up in the comparison game online to see anything clearly.
I want to do more strength training, but I don’t know how to do that without compromising my running. I want to do more running, but I don’t know how to do that without getting hurt. I need to do my PT exercises, but I cannot for the life of me get into the habit of doing them. I want to do more yoga and more rock climbing, but I don’t know how to fit those into my schedule on top of everything else without routinely doing two-a-days, and I don’t feel like I’m at an athletic level–or that I even aspire to be at an athletic level–where two-a-days are necessary. I’m looking to (minimally) take seven minutes off my marathon time, not win the Olympics. I also have a job, and a commute, and friends, and chores, and other non-workout things that take up my free time, and don’t particularly want to dedicate all of my spare time to exercise.
I also don’t know if I’m being completely ridiculous. All of my recent race times have blown my expectations (based on my training) out of the water. I haven’t felt like I’ve done sufficient training since marathon season ended last October, but I’ve consistently had good races, so maybe I’m making mountains out of molehills…or just running in ideal weather, which certainly hasn’t hurt. And maybe it doesn’t really matter if I don’t feel like my training is good enough if my results says otherwise, but it sure would be nice to be able to reflect on a week of training and be happy with what I’ve done instead of constantly beating myself up over what I haven’t done.
I don’t really know how to make this better without quitting my job and starting to train full time (which OBVIOUSLY is not going to happen, not now, or ever), and quite honestly, I don’t know if that would change anything, either. I clearly have a lot of self-doubt in terms of my training and abilities, and I’m not all that confident that more training is the cure. But I also don’t know what is the cure to that self-doubt. I don’t know how to convince myself that what I’m doing is fine, because it doesn’t feel fine at all. I don’t know how to feel okay not doing it all, because I feel like everything’s telling me that I DO have to do it all, and it is (quite clearly) wearing on me.
Usually, I try to wrap these self-indulgent woe-is-me sort of posts up with a nice bow to conclude things, but I don’t have a conclusion this time. All I have is a lot of frustration – frustration I hope works itself out sooner rather than later.
Has anyone else ever felt this way?