Running Mood Swings
Monday, September 20, 2010
Throughout the past couple months I have realized that running has severe mood swings. It swings from one workout to the next and it swings during workouts. This may seem obvious to you veteran athletes, but to a newbie- this takes a while to understand. At first I just thought it was the consequences of being so horribly out of shape. Then, as I started to adapt to running, I figured it was because I was still adjusting. But now that I've been running regularly since June, I've realized that the issue is really not me at all. The issue?...running mood swings!
What I am referring to is the ups and downs of training. You know how you go out on Monday and totally kick butt- you feel light as air and as if you could run forever? But then on Wednesday, you get outside and its as if your bones were replaced with lead- every step is a challenge and you start to think you're never gonna progress or that you may even (*gasp*) regress? And then there are workouts where you have both of those feelings all in one running session? Love those, right? Or not.
This has been my life for 3+ months. Not fun. Its been a constant roller-coaster ride of emotions and at times I truly didn't know if I'd make it through. But then I starting thinking that maybe this was normal. Maybe working out isn't linear like I thought it was and is in fact supposed to vary. The more I pondered this, the more I felt I was onto something good....
Once I began to adjust my perspective, I noticed things started to go smoother for me. When I experience those tough days, I remember that its normal and not an indicator of my overall fitness. When I hit a block during a workout, I remind myself that these things happen and I will get through it. I try not to give too much meaning to these challenging times and just accept them as part of the natural process of becoming an athlete. I step back and realize that when I struggle, its just a small piece of the greater picture. I embrace these tougher moments and use them to learn and understand more about what works for me versus what may not be working so well.
So I no longer beat myself up over tough runs or decide there's no point in trying because I didn't have a perfect workout. Because it may not be me at all...it might just be another running mood swing!