This week has been tough for a lot of us. Low energy, poor sleep, stressed about the election results rolling in, days wondering why the fuck Nevada won't hurry the fuck up.
As runners, we often expect a lot from ourselves. Waking up early every day, getting our workout in, eating right, getting enough sleep, taking care of ourselves. It may not seem like much to us once we've become used to the routine, but sometimes we take for granted how much we really do. We often expect so much from ourselves, that we think during trying times we SHOULD be able to just get it done. Often, we don't even allow ourselves to be aware of the fact that times are trying.
This week was draining for a lot of us. We were on high alert. Glued to our televisions. Sitting on the edge of our seats. Worrying. Freaking the fuck out. On one level, this takes a toll on our nervous systems. Our sympathetic nervous system being in hyperdrive doesn't allow us to recover well, doesn't allow us to sleep well, doesn't allow our heart rates to be ridiculously low like we're used to as endurance runners. Stress, even good stress, even celebration, takes a toll on us. Being so on for a week, a year, four years, exhausting ourselves emotionally, then the peak. And after the high, comes the low. Don't be surprised if you feel emotionally drained, physically tired or flat, exhausted from the easiest of things.
We expect to be able to just carry on. To just get up in the morning and bang out a hard workout like it is nothing. But we need to remember that everything we do demands some of our limited energy supply. We have a finite amount each day. When we have multiple days that are so ridiculously demanding, regardless of the nature of the demand, whether it is emotional, physical, cognitive, relational; it is as if those taxing days are taking from our future days just to get through. So by the time we get to our future days, we are beat. We don't even know what happened.
We expect so much from ourselves. To be unfazed by the world around us is something we should not expect. Our bodies don't know the different between emotional, physical, or cognitive stress. It just knows, "I'm tired." It is okay to be tired. It is necessary to take a break. It is important to give ourselves what we need. It's most important to acknowledge that we are not machines. But even machines require maintenance.
So give yourself some grace if you're not crushing your workout these past couple weeks. Give yourself permission to be a human being.
This may be a bunch of rambling. I'm tired.