How's life treatin' ya? Good, I hope!
You may (or may not) be able to tell, but I've been BURNT OUT lately! This past week was just plain hard mentally for me. I was able to get in my 4.5 mile run on Monday, finish an excruciatingly painful personal training session on Tuesday which left me sore for days, but ever since Wednesday my head (and my heart) is just not in the training. I'm mentally wiped out from all the numbers, miles and planning.
So what should I do to kick this burn out to the curb??
I need to reevaluate my goals, my current fitness level and most importantly- take a step back to BREATHE!
Yesterday (Friday) I had 5 miles planned. I'm taking a super safe approach to this half marathon training so I can prevent any injuries from happening. So I only increase my miles half a mile every other week. I know that's not much at all, but this girl is very injury prone! Ok, back to Friday. We had lots of rain this week, which is great, but it left my running route a bit slippery because of all the leaves on the ground. So, I opted to run on the dreadmill at the gym for 5 miles. I had music, tv's and people to watch. These 5 miles should fly by with all this entertainment, right? .... Wrong! I get on the treadmill, warm up for 5 minutes. Stop, stretch, give myself a mental pep talk, then start running. I kept it at a 9:15 pace which is great but I struggled to finish 1 mile! ONE measly mile!! I stopped, wiped a few tears from my eyes (yes, I was quite upset with myself, but I didn't let anyone see) stretched, then told myself to do one more mile. I did another mile, repeated the last couple things, minus the tears, then trudged on for one more mile. This run was the most mentally tough run I've EVER had. I ran 3 miles with walk breaks in between. I felt so defeated but I wanted to finish the 5 miles some how. I decided to finish it outside.. well, my husband was in the car waiting for me so that irritated me because I hate feeling rushed, so I gave up and went home.
I understand we're bound to have "bad" running days, but this was a horrible running day! And it was a different kind of horrible because I've felt mentally tough this whole training period, so why am I crumbling now??
I'm experiencing mental burn out and I need to take a step back...
So in order for me to get back on the right track to training well for my first half marathon, I need to get out of this burn out funk. Here's how I plan on defeating defeat:
*Reevaluate my goals & fitness level* I know my body is capable to run 5 miles right now. I know my body is strong enough to carry me to 13.1-eventually. I'm working on strength training with my personal trainer and also working on flexibility to keep any strains or kinks from occurring. So what's the problem? I'm worried I won't be able to run 13.1 miles by the end of March 2015 with the training I have planned and it's wearing on me. Big time. So, I'm reevaluating and readjusting my plans/goals. I may have to run an April race, and that's okay. I want to cross the finish line feeling strong and if that means extending my training period, then so be it.
*Take a step back to breathe* I'm stepping away from numbers. I will do my runs outside to keep from over analyzing what the treadmill says. I'll listen to my body and tell myself "it's ok" if I have to take a walk break in order to finish the planned miles, no matter what my pace is! I'm going to take it a day at a time and do what I can. My mind needs a break so I'm going to do my best to let it regroup. Running my first half
is supposed to be exciting, not stressful.
*Do more of what I enjoy* If I feel like skipping an intense workout at the gym, I just might do that this week. I know I can't always do that, but for now, while my mind is regrouping, I'll do whatever it takes to clear up the fog looming inside my mind. I'll sit and relax and catch up on my favorite blogs and maybe find time and energy to put up a few of my scheduled posts. I'll get back to doing yoga and coupling it with prayer again-a total mind clearer! Most importantly, I'll use this mental burn out as a time to realize I need to stay mentally fit because if I don't, I could end up quitting when the going gets tough. That's definitely NOT what I want to happen!
Mental burn out is going to happen at some point or another. It's up to us to decide if we let it turn into defeat or use it as a lesson learned and grow from it. I'm choosing to grow and watch for burn out signs in the future so that I can beat it before it turns into defeat!
How do you avoid burn out?
How do you kick a burn out to the curb?