The Effect that Work has on Training

I’ve been back full-time in the office for two weeks now.

One of the immediate effects that I’ve noticed is that when work stresses me out, running stresses me out too. I have a million things to do and cross off my list and running became one of things. I know there are people out there who need to run when they’re stressed and they do better for it. I’m not one of those people. I physically find it difficult to run (as in, my legs are very heavy, despite the fact that I didn’t do anything other than sit at my desk and walk up and down the hall for various meetings and such).

After sending Leah a spazzed-out email in the middle of night, she offered a solution that may take the stress of running/training off me. She gives me my long run, work out, and a total mileage that she’d like to have me hit. The actual easy runs and the days I do them are up to me, so I can work them in around my schedule. So on a day when I find that I have a surprise meeting and there goes my morning, I’m not freaking out over missing a run. We’re starting it this week, but the real test will be the following weeks when I have a million things going on. I will reduce the weekly mileage to the lower end and be super grateful if I actually hit them, but I’m not sure that I can. There are only so many hours in a day and I refuse to give up sleep. I need it for my sanity and health. The first two years I had my job, I didn’t sleep much (5-6 hours a night on a good night) and I was pretty much sick for the entire two years. Once I gave up on the idea of being Superworker, my health recovered.

I had a very slow tempo last week. Originally the target was set for 7:45, but after my fall and slow recovery, Leah adjusted it to 8:00. I averaged around 8:10 and I was working hard. I tend to do workouts on Thursdays now because Thursdays are the “slower” days where I have more time. By the time Thursday rolls around, I’m physically exhausted from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I really didn’t want to run and wanted a real rest day (I did not run on Wednesday, but it didn’t feel like a rest day when you start working at 6:30 am and don’t end the day til 11:00 pm with a few breaks scattered for meals and restroom breaks). I sucked it up and ran because a sucky tempo is better than no tempo.

I had a lovely long run on Sunday with PPTC. A bunch of us couldn’t make the Saturday’s long run, which was a preview of the new NYRR NYC Half Marathon course. Ben and I were super excited about the course redesign because the start line is at Grand Army Plaza of Prospect Park, walking distance from our house.  I won’t be in town for the actual half and Ben wasn’t picked in the lottery selection, so both of us are out. But I thought running the new route would be cool, so I was looking forward to doing with my running club. I had a wonderful run and time. I got to see friends I hadn’t seen in a few weeks and chat with members whom I didn’t know previously, but now we’re firm friends. Time and miles speeds up friendships.

12 thoughts on “The Effect that Work has on Training

  1. Sorry to hear that work life is stressing you out and complicating your running schedule. Welcome to my world. It’ll get better once you’ve figured out the new “pacing.” Congratulations on making the NYC 1/2 preview Sunday run. The Saturday run was fun, too (I’m not in the race either) but I think you had better weather.

  2. Yeah, sleep is non-negotiable for me too. I feel like whatever “fitness” I’m getting from running is immediately negated by lack of sleep. Good luck adjusting to the new schedule! Like you said – sometimes you just have to adjust your expectations. A sucky tempo is better than no tempo.

  3. Totally understand. When I went back to worst last August, it was NOT a good situation. I didn’t talk about it much, but I was legit nervous breakdown mode. There was no way running was happening then (St. George training).

    Love that you have a coach that accommodates your life ❤

  4. Sorry to hear that work is stressful again. It has to be hard jumping back in. Sleep is a must for me. I’m a mess without it. It’s great that your coach is helping make things more doable. I firmly believe run schedules need to be flexible or it just won’t work.

  5. I read an interesting study about how mental stress is a huge physical impact source, and one shouldn’t plan hard workouts on hard work days, because it would be like doing two workouts in one day (which some do, but not me). The new plan sounds cool. Hope it works!

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