Running sucks right now. So does CrossFit. It all just seems so hard. I mean, for crying out loud, I just ran a marathon, and now running 3 miles feels like a long distance. What’s up with that? And weights that I used to lift in CrossFit just seem too heavy. And let’s not even talk about shoulder mobility. I just feel like I’m not progressing.
As if it weren’t obvious, I’ve been feeling rather discouraged lately. Running and CrossFit are not things I do because I HAVE to; I honestly enjoy them. I look forward to running and throwing around weights in the gym. Or I used to. What’s happened that what I love has become a chore?
The owner of the CrossFit gym I belong to saw me leaving a few days ago and called out asking how it was going. I guess my voice betrayed me because he picked up that something wasn’t right and called me over for a chat. So I spilled my guts. I ran a marathon, but now I can barely run 3 miles, and I’ve taken steps back in CrossFit. I’m discouraged.
Jake is a wise man. The first thing out of his mouth was, “So you ran a marathon. How many days did you take off after?” Touche. I knew rest was important, but I guess my inner teenager thought I was unbreakable and would be good to go after a 2 day rest.
His advice to me? “Have fun!” Basically, chill out. Relax. Don’t push yourself so hard. He’s right; I’m not training for anything right now, so why do I have to run that pace or get that mileage or lift that amount of weight? But I’m super competitive when it comes to myself, and I feel like I’ve let myself down if this run was slower than the last or if I don’t go the miles I had planned or if I still can’t overhead squat more than 20 pounds (Grrr….).
But his advice has been unshakeable. Have fun. Run until it’s not fun and then stop. Or just don’t run for a while. Walk instead. And if the CrossFit WOD (workout of the day) doesn’t appeal to you, cheer on your peers and do something else, or go super light that day with the weights. Just give yourself a break.
As crazy as it sounds, sometimes I just need someone to give me “permission” to let up. I need to hear that it’s okay to take a break. Even though my recent vacation gave me a boost of confidence that I can make healthy food choices away from home, I’m still scared to death of gaining weight if I’m not burning tons of calories a day. I’m still working on finding that balance.
But for now I need to find the fun in my sports again. I’m thinking maybe I should go running without my running watch. Forget about pace and distance and just run at a pace that feels good and quit when I get tired. Same with cycling. I’m already in that mindset when I get on my bike that I have to ride for a certain number of minutes or get one more mile in than I did last time in the same number of minutes. I need to just forget about how fast and how far I’m riding and just focus on the wind in my face and enjoy the ride. And instead of obsessing about the weight on my bar, I need to just focus on the feel of the bar in my hands and the thrill of completing a tough workout, not on “I should be doing more.”
We all know that life’s not a bowl of cherries, right? And there’s something to be said for pushing yourself. That’s how you get better, faster, stronger. But there’s a time for resting too. It’s hard for me to admit I’m not enjoying running right now, but I’m going to trust Jake’s advice and just have fun. I’m just going to chill, try to forget about the numbers and do my thing because I LOVE it.
How are you doing with exercise and fitness?
How do you keep that balance of rest and pushing yourself?