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Starting over with running

It’s hard for me to believe that there would ever come a point in time that I would not only be a runner, but be a runner so much that I actually got tired of it. Wow! It’s amazing how much your life can change when you change your priorities.

But that time has come for me again. I say again because this isn’t the first time I took a break from running. In 2009, I actually walked the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon and you know what? That’s hard too! It was an entirely different experience and I’m so glad I did it.

This time, it was more or less, I just haven’t felt like running lately. Back in June, we hit the 90 degree mark and have had too many super hot and humid days to even think about running outside (for me). The treadmill was not calling my name either. So I decided, so what? I will take a break. Do some other workouts I enjoy, no big deal.

I noticed that I didn’t really miss running. I also didn’t miss the major appetite it gave me that sometimes caused me to eat too much. I didn’t miss the achy hips or tiredness I sometimes get.  I especially did not miss getting up early on Saturday mornings for races (hehe).

In July, we closed on our new home and started going through the seemingly never-ending process of packing, painting, moving, unpacking and so on. No time for running really and it was still too hot!

I really gave myself over to walking, yoga and some weight training. I even signed up for MyFitnessPal to make sure I’m still getting essential nutrients and to support some friends. And I have been feeling great! I don’t use a scale anymore but judging by my clothes, I’m a bit lighter. My moods are better and I have more energy to do things around the house and keep up with other responsibilities without being exhausted in the process.

Now, maybe running is not entirely to blame for this. I think I just needed a rest. Needed to slow things down a bit and get some perspective.

It’s been a couple of months now, the weather is cooling off and things are getting settled in my life again. I have decided I am ready to ease back into running. But nothing too crazy. I haven’t signed up for any races and while I do have hopes of someday  running a marathon (such as my dream of doing the 2012 NYC Marathon with my good friend Mari), I’m not in a big hurry.

I actually have dreams of standing on the side lines for someone else soon! Anybody need a cheerleader? Or maybe I will volunteer to work at a race.

For now, I have decided to start from scratch, the way I originally “taught” myself how to run. With intervals!

Twice this week, and hopefully one more time before it’s over, I have “walk-jogged” 2.35 miles. I decided to start with running 1 minute for every 4 that I walk. I have really enjoyed it and it has been great to “feel out” running again. Next week, I will move up to 3 walking, 2 jogging and so on but again, I’m in no hurry to do too much. I just want to enjoy this 🙂

Avoiding burnout

I have a final this afternoon. I have not looked at my notes since our last day of class, which was the 7th. I probably won’t between now and 2:30.

So barring any possibility that our teacher decides to make the final open book, I don’t think I will be looking at them again any time soon.

I went to almost every single class, paid attention and took really good notes. I know that cramming does not work for me anymore. I have a high B in the class so assuming I don’t completely bomb it, I should be okay. I just don’t feel like studying!

It might be the toothache making me cranky.

But I think I am really experiencing burnout. This semester has seemed so long and even though I only have one class, I’m still just ready for it to be over. I have enjoyed the class, learning about Exercise Science has been quite interesting to me, but I am ready to be free of the time commitment. Thankfully, that will be so after today.

But I frequently experience burnout in other areas of my life too: work, food, exercise, music, etc. It just happens.

In order to keep my burnout of school from overflowing into other areas of my life (hello, Christmas!), here are some things I’m going to do:

1) Write out all the tasks I need to accomplish at work before our break (December 24-January 3) and break it down into what I need to finish each day, including a little bit of each task per day.

2) Decide what I absolutely have to buy before Christmas and do a little bit of shopping each day instead of all at once. Save the buying for those we’ll see after Christmas for later.

3) Say a polite “No thanks” to any more social commitments between now and New Year’s. You guys should see my calendar, it’s ridiculous, but I’m so grateful to have friends, family and co-workers who want to spend time with me.

4) Plan a few runs for the next couple of weeks, but also print out the YMCA calendar and take some classes over the break (can’t wait to do Cycling again this year). Don’t be afraid to go against the “plan” or take a day off if I’m too tired.

5) Smile, laugh, have fun, and RELAX!

Things I have already done:

1) Started Christmas shopping (finally, on Monday)!

2) Planned what dishes to bring to holiday and retirement parties (I’ve got three this weekend!) and Christmas Day at my parents house.

3) Naps!

Do you ever experience burnout? What do you do to prevent it or treat it?