Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't Let Stress Ruin Your Run!

Dec. 10, 2012

Today I won't be any pounds of rolling thunder. 

In fact, I won't be running at all. I've got one of those creepy bad cold that sneaks up on you, and before you know it you've got every form of over-the-counter pill, tablet and liquid known to man rumbling around in your system while you try and seek some relief -- or at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

But that's no excuse for not blogging. Lately, there hasn't been a lot of running but a lot of stressing.

Between working, volunteering with the Boy Scouts and fighting this cold, there hasn't been much time for writing.

It's amazing what stress can do to your body. I've been running for three or so years now on a steady basis, and you would think that it would get easier, but up until this summer I still made frequent walking stops while I was running.

Normally, I just chalked it up to getting older and not starting out as a distance runner. I was not what you would call an early adapter when it came to lacing up the old running shoes and going for a job. I was more the ball-and-goal athlete most of my life.

But something convinced me I needed to improve my fitness, mainly to give me more wind when I was out biking. So I hit the streets. I didn't like it, but I hit the streets. And after a while it started to pay off on the bike. I could climb hills and not be winded at the top.

But somewhere along the line, I started having to walk more and run less. Again, I attributed it to just being a poor runner and didn't put much onus on the role stress can play in your life.

But this fall and summer, I've been able to push through more distance and hills than in the past. Somehow the promise of the endorphin rush at the end of the journey made the pain worthwhile.

Recently, however, I've been stressing more about work and life in general. And the more I stressed, the less relaxing the runs became and the more I was tempted to slow down and walk. I could even feel a physical tightening in my torso that would not allow me to breathe as easily.

It was as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders as the stress monsters took over my consciousness. What was once fun had begun to become a chore, and blogging about it didn't seem to have time on the agenda.

But now I'm back blog fans. Atlas shrugged and the weight of the world did not run me over -- although this cold just might. I'm anxious to shake this creaky feeling of sinus infection and body aches and get back out on the streets with the sun shining in my slow-moving face.

So until you see the world's slowest human out there again, wish me luck and don't stress.

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