Sunday, March 3, 2013

8 Miles of Therapy

What's the best way to end a long week? Need you ask? Yes, end it with exercise.

For some reason, sleep eluded me thursday night. I had a busy weekend of touring DePaul University with Samantha and Jeff on Friday and the Les Mills Quarterly in Rosemont on Saturday....all of which added up to me being one tired puppy today.

At the Les Mills Quarterly, I did Body Pump. I tried to do Step; however, I didn't want to wind up with sore glutes and calves on Sunday when I needed to do a 8-mile run. I decided to sit out and watch GRIT Strength.

Finally, it was time for Flow. Can I just tell you how much I love this new release? Two balance tracks including Bird In Flight and a back bend in the Lower Back track. Wow!

However, when we got to meditation, I couldn't focus. My mind wanted to wander. Being in the middle of a very active gym does not make for a great meditation.

After a few more attempts to drink the Les Miils Kool-aid, I realized it just wasn't going to happen. I drove home that night reflecting on the day and all that happened. Why did I feel so unfocused?

By the time I got home, my mind was filled with all sorts of thoughts. What am I doing with my life? What is direction I want it all to go in the next year? What's going to happen when a position I know about comes open? Will I be able to continue my current training level? And what's going to happen during the next school year? Samantha will be going to college and Abby will be in the 6th grade and in all likelihood able to play junior high sports. How will all of that affect my time?

Exhausted as I was, sleep came in fits Saturday night. I kept waking up with all of these thoughts / dilemmas swirling through my head. When the alarm went off to get ready for swimming, the last thing I wanted to do was a couple thousand yards in the pool. I pushed off the wall for my timed 800 yard swim to start my workout.

And then stopped.

Lack of sleep and swirling thoughts made any attempt at swimming very difficult. I kept looking at the clock waiting for the session to end.

By early afternoon, I wasn't sure the 8 mile planned run was going to happen. Maybe a nice nap instead?

But the swirling thoughts wouldn't stop. I finally got dressed for my run. I made myself promise I would get at least 5 miles finished before giving up. I started the first mile at a slow warmup pace, got slightly slower for the 2nd mile and then the endorphins kicked in. All of the worries, questions that swirled through my head seemed to be lifted away with the fog. I started negative splitting the next 4 miles and FINALLY felt like I was doing EXACTLY what was I was suppose to be doing.

It is amazing to me how good a few miles on the open road can make you feel. I think every person who is mentally or emotionally stressed needs to take their issues out on the open road. While the solutions to your problems may not be found there, one can definitely find temporary relief from the worry.

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