Running and Stress

I just came across this email that I filed away for my future reference after sending it to Karen last spring. Karen was in the midst of some crazy stressful life events and was also just a few days away from her Wrightsville Beach Marathon. Read and enjoy!

There is nothing easy about training for a marathon and there is nothing easy about the life issues you are dealing with.  It’s really hard to keep it together and stay focused on running when life is full of challenges.  What you are doing is TOUGH! 

I allowed myself to get swept up in the negative last year.  I focused too much on what wasn’t going well.  This quickly parlayed into “nothing in my life going well” – running, work, etc – even when that wasn’t true.  I stayed in that funk for far too long.  Don’t let that happen to you.

I’m listening to “Brave Athlete, Calm the F*ck Down” right now.  This morning, it talked about mindset and intentionally thinking about 3 very specific positive things each day – even if it’s as small as being thankful for clean sheets on your bed. Especially in the next few weeks, try to think about what you are thankful for and what is going well. Try to separate the “life stuff” from the “running stuff”.  When you have a workout, view it as “I get to run” and not “I have to run”.  The more you think about you “have to run”, the more you will wear yourself out. When you’re running, stay present and focus on what’s going well too – not all the shitty life stuff. Be thankful that you have 2 strong legs, and a healthy heart and the ability to run. You know many people who don’t have that ability right now.  I cannot speak for the others, but I’m certain (another friend being treated for a brain tumor) would give anything to be able to be active right now 🙂

You are already well-prepared for your marathon. Don’t let the fear of “what if I’m not prepared” concern you. I told you last fall that if you ran a marathon that weekend, you’d PR it.  You will have a good race no matter what.  Talk to Holly about the workouts if you feel like they are too much with everything else, but also remember you are paying her to push you. If you feel like you need an extra rest day, take it and don’t feel guilty.  Holly told me that stress adds effort to workouts and inhibits recovery – you need to listen to your body. 

Here is an interesting article I read a while back:

Please keep this email handy and send to me next time I’m in a funk 🙂

You are so strong, you are tough! 

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