By Team Trainright's Malia Crouse-Mullen
After feeling pretty mentally and physically worn down this week, I carved out time to do my one-hour run today over lunch. During today’s run I was reminded why I love running so much. I started my run with a dull headache, leftover from putting in too many hours at my desk yesterday. I didn’t have high hopes for my tempo run. But as I try to start every workout when I’m not feeling 100%, I tell myself, “You’ve made it to the start, give it your best and let’s see where it takes you.” So off I went. Headphones on jamming away to my favorite running tunes, my headache slowly melted away. My deadlines and work emails faded into the rhythm of my feet running one in front of the other, my arms gliding back and forth.
I started my intervals, working through each four minute 5k-paced set with a sense of rejuvenation. Not rejuvenation in the sense that I felt like floating; quite far from that actually. I was rejuvenated in that I no longer doubted my abilities as I did at the start. I knew the work I had put in last month, last year when I started with CTS, would serve me well. I knew I could match the times Coach Lindsay set for me. I knew that five, then four, three, two and finally my last four minute interval were the building blocks for my upcoming season. And when I finished my last interval and made my way back to my starting place, I felt at peace with my life again. Headache gone, legs feeling happy yet tired, and all those wonderful exercise endorphins running through my body, I was reminded why I love to run. While only an hour, I was able to concentrate on just one thing, only one person in a life surrounded by others’ wants and needs- myself.
I’m not one for new year resolutions. I think resolutions and change can be made at anytime. So while some may call this my new year’s resolution, I feel that today’s run (which just so happened to be during the first week of January) served as my reminder that I need to take better care of myself this year and from here on out into the future. I need to carve out more “me” time. I need to leave the office when I’ve put in my day’s time. I need to check out from the stress of work, life, family relationships and check in with myself on a more regular basis. I need to ask for help instead of putting on my “super woman cape” and end up letting the weight of the world overwhelm me.
I have a lot of training and racing goals that I want to work towards and accomplish this year. I know Coach Lindsay will continue to send me my amazing training plans and support. I will continue to fit every workout in amongst my ever-growing to-do list. That won’t change from last year. But that will only take me so far if I don’t put as much value on making the time to also recover and rest. I need to better manage my “me” time. So I will ask for help when I need it. I will delegate tasks. I will leave work at work. I will be a better me.