Emotional Exhaustion Induced Tapering

Last week I ran my last 20-miler for this training cycle. I’m glad because if you asked me if I had the legs to run 20 miles this week, the answer is no. I can’t even do the 5-mile tempo that’s on the plan. I ran three times this week, all around 3 miles. I signed up for a last minute half in Jersey because I need the adrenaline of a race to get me through a long run. I’m really tired.

And not just tired from training for a marathon for the past 13 weeks.

I’m emotionally exhausted from work. I left work Thursday (I swapped out my Tuesday and Thursday schedule this past week) quite happy because I had a rare Friday with no meetings schedule. This meant that I could work from home. One of the reasons why I like working from home is because it saves me the commute time (2-3 hours of total commute time) so I get even more work done or I have time to do other things. Thursday evening trouble started (actually trouble started a while ago, but I/we thought it was dispatched). I went to bed thinking there was a 80% chance that I had to go in the next day. The first thing I did when I woke up was to check email. Full-blown crisis. I skipped the tempo run that was planned. I drank coffee and drove in. Several hours in a meeting discussing how to handle the situation, what was our strategy, what were the consequences of different plans, what was the future course of action, etc, etc, etc, happened. We reached a consensus of what to do. By the time I was finally done at 4, I was wiped out.

I drove home with the only thought being that I needed a drink. To understand the gravity of this, you need to know that I don’t drink much. I’m purely a social drinker. I like to drink when I’m out with friends. I rarely drink when it’s just Ben and me because I don’t consider Ben to be people. Like a true introvert, while I do like being around people, I find it tiring and need to spend several hours alone to recuperate from a few hours of socializing. I am able to live with Ben and spend all my time with him without being exhausted because I don’t see him as a person, but more like as an extension of myself. When I explained all this to him, he thought it was the nicest dehumanizing comment. Ha!

But last night I needed a drink badly. We went out for dinner. The restaurant didn’t have a liquor license, but they were cool with our bringing in a bottle. Ben quickly went to the wine shop next door to buy a bottle of red wine. I had two glasses. Even when I’m out with friends, I usually only have a single drink. By nature I’m not much of a drinker. So two glasses were a big deal.

This morning I set out to run. The weather was cool. No excuses not to have a good run. People handle stress in different ways. I know many people who need to run when they have stress. When I’m stressed, running is the last thing I can do. After a half mile, I realized that I couldn’t handle a 5-mile tempo. I slowed down and decided to just do a single loop of the park.

I’m tired. Thank goodness for tapering.

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10 thoughts on “Emotional Exhaustion Induced Tapering

  1. I felt the same way this week. For the first time I can remember, I wanted to do anything except run! I’m a cerebral person and can live in squalor mess and clutter never bothered me. I cleaned the home, my car, did my laundry– anything to avoid my run. I’m grateful for taper as well. Will you be wearing PPTC singlet? Im wearing either PPTC red or a blue unmarked singlet. I’m also a introvert– the part about needing time alone to recharge hit home. Enjoy the next couple weeks of rest and relaxation before the race! I’m excited– see you there!

    • For every race, I have to decide between the PPTC singlet and the Simple Hydration Run Team singlet. I’ll be wearing the blue Simple Hydration Run singlet because this is my big goal race for the year and SH has been great about supporting me.

      Will you be taking a gel before the start? (wink)

      I’m super excited to see you at Steamtown.

  2. Emotional stress on top of marathon training exhaustion is a terrible combo. So glad you had that wine. Your description of how you see your husband and how he felt about it cracked me up. I totally get it! I’m extroverted when I am with people but introverted by nature. I prefer to be alone and while I actually do enjoy a beer or wine, I prefer to do it from the comforts of my own home. How boring! I hope this weekend provides you with plenty of opportunity to rest and recover!

    • Cheers to us boring people! I’m actually drinking more wine today (leftover stress). Ben’s thrilled (not about the stress) because usually he drinks alone. I got a massage too today, so I’m feeling better.

  3. I don’t have the emotional stress, but I am struggling with my runs! I hate to say this, but I am so glad I am not the only one. Try to just get out and enjoy your runs – don’t feel pressure! And enjoy that half marathon!

    • Oh, yeah, you’re definitely not alone. I think it’s important to write these posts so people see the full range of experience and not just the good times. Cheers and here’s to better runs for us in the future!

  4. Sounds rough. Totally feel you. One of the reasons Phil and I pick vacations in far-flung locales (like our latest in the Sahara Desert) is to find a place w/out wifi, cell service, etc., and just totally disconnect, even if only for a few days. Yesterday, I had an I-need-a-milkshake day. That’s my pregnant version of I-need-a-drink (not a big drinker either). I marched right to Shake Shack and felt instantly better.

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