Santa rocked my runner socks off. If you’re following me on Instagram you probably already saw my awesome new purple Garmin…wooohooo!! My old Garmin actually broke a week before Christmas in what I can only call the sum of all fears for a runner: I had no warning, I was in the middle of a run, I was in the first mile of a tempo.
Needless to say I was P*$$ed!! Hello, this OCD runnerchick would have liked to know her splits. Alas, alas…I did survive which does remind us all of two important lessons:
1) It’s in the Effort: Yea, I had no idea what my miles ended up being but I still ran hard. Times and splits are helpful information when it comes to workouts, but they don’t always tell the full story. Bottom line is it all comes back to the effort.
2) Times NOT to Time: While I certainly hadn’t planned on my Garmin crapping out, I have talked before about times when it’s better NOT to run with a watch. Easy days are meant to be easy and running ‘naked’ on those days can help keep them as such, not worrying about pace. Sometimes runners can get too stressed about their hard workouts, getting too anxious about time times, if they aren’t hitting the splits, etc. If you’re started to dread your hard workouts because of the stress, running without a watch is an easy way to unload a ton of self-imposed stress. Run hard. Scr*w times. Again, it’s coming back to effort.
Sometimes running without a watch can be freeing.
But back to my story, I DID want the watch…haha. So I was peeved when it died and was crossing all my fingers and toes that come Christmas I’d be gifted with a new one. HURRAHH!! When I ripped into that package I did jump up and do a happy dance. I am 27. I runnerchick nerded out, and I’m not even ashamed.
I christened that baby after all the other presents were opened…yes, I was kindly patient so the rest of my family could get to their gifts too.
While the holidays can rock your socks off, they can also be stressful or tough for people too. Here is where running can certainly do wonders to keep you sane: literally pound out all the frustration. But it can still be stressful and stress sucks, it can eat you alive from the inside out.
So let’s talk stress and how it may apply to runners:
* Derail Workouts: Getting back to my watchless example, type-A runners can fall into the trap of thinking themselves out of a workout. This thinking includes: “Those times are WAY too fast, there’s no way I can hit those!”, “I’m dying, I can’t do all those repeats”, “WTF?!?! I’m running my butt of and the times are STILL too slow.” It’s a slippery slope and it has a snowball effect, eventually you get nervous and fearful of every workout, you dread them, and it’s your brain [more than your body] slowing you down.
* Pre-Race Nerves: Racing is fun but it also comes with a certain level of stress. Some of that nervous energy is GOOD, but it’s a fine line between ‘just enough’ and waaaay too much. THIS POST is all about how to keep those nerves in check and not derail your race because of stress and self-imposed pressure.
* Training Rut: Slogging through weeks and weeks of runs where you’re not ‘feeling it’ and not feeling that spark for running can be a sign that you’re burned out. Reach that point and you’re stressed because you’re not LIKING running and it feels like a chore. Taking breaks after seasons is one way to avoid getting burned out, THIS POST covers other reasons for that ‘meh’ feeling and how to get your spark back for running.
Running should be kept fun, it should make you want to do those nerding out happy dances. Don’t let stress suck out that joy…and certainly don’t let a mid-tempo Garmin death get you down. The world kept on turning, which was a little reminder I [double uppercase for emphasis] needed that running is WAY more than just about the numbers.
…but the numbers are nice so once again, THANK YOU, Santa!!
1) How were your holidays?
2) Is there anything that’s been stressing you out as of late? How have you dealt with that?
3) When’s the last time you ran watchless?