Time to re-evaluate

by - Thursday, July 31, 2008

This post fits really well with this Thursday's Take It and Run topic about looking at where we've been this year and where we want to go with our running and for me life in general. (Be forewarned, this puppy is loooong.)

I mentioned a few posts back that I was going to write about my new plan for the rest of the year in light of my knee issue and a few other things that have been on my mind lately.

The past two weeks I've been a pretty miserable person. There's a lot of different things contributing to it, stress at work, stress with friends from all over the place, feeling like I'm being pulled in way too many directions by way too many people and general frustration about not being able to run.

Normally, I can have all those things be issues and I use my runs to keep myself sane. Without those runs, I've just kind of been in a lousy mood.

Not being able to run actually made me sit down and think about a lot of things and what's making me happy and what's not and what I'm going to do about it. (Because let's be honest, I'm way better at being happy than being not happy.)

Basically what I've decided is that I need to learn my own limits and not keep saying yes to every single thing that is asked of me. Now that doesn't mean I should turn into a giant slacker at life, but I just need to work in some time for me. Before that was my running, but when I couldn't do that, I kind of lost my me thing for two months so I was just going along with everyone else's things.

Turns out that was making me pretty unhappy.

I have to credit one of my friends from Maryland for making me realize it. We were hanging out one night getting ready to go to the movies and I guess I was just giving off the sense that something was wrong even though I didn't realize it. My friend kept asking me what was wrong and after brushing it off as nothing, I just started rambling about things that were on my mind.

It put a lot in perspective for me.

The general conclusion that I've come to is I'm going to do things that make me happy. I've never been a big drinker (in fact, I really don't like the taste of alcohol) and it seems like that's all anyone wants to do whenever we go out. Not that there's anything wrong with going to the bars from time to time. I usually have a good time, but I just need a change of scenery.

I've also evaluated a bunch of friendships that have done nothing but stress me out and I've come up with some ways make that better.

As far as running goes things seem to be improving. I just got back from a 3.5 mile run. It was crappy and hard and bad, but it felt good to be out there. (I think my legs were dead from PT. They upped my weights a bunch and added some agility drills. Plus it was like 90% humidity out there.)

As far as the rest of my running for the year. I've done some serious re-evaluating. My original plan had been to run three half marathons and a handful of other select distances this fall.

I've come to terms with the fact that it isn't going to happen.

My new plan looks something like this and will kick in once I officially get released from PT.

Three days per week I will lift at the gym (I'm thinking MWF) to maintain the strength I've built in therapy and help prevent future injury.

Two to three days per week I will do runs between two and four miles, trying to keep myself close to three for the most part. If I only run two days, I will use the third day for cross training or rest depending how I feel.

One day per week I will do a longer run between five and eight miles.

I plan to stick with this plan at least until the end of September (although this may change depending when I get released from therapy.)

As far as races go, I don't think I will race at all in August. From there I will play it by ear and see how I'm feeling. I want to have a solid base before I enter a race.

I'm going to focus mainly on 5Ks and 10Ks when I do get back to racing.

I'll re-evaluate later, but for now it's a plan I'm happy with.

Sorry for the length of this one. Just had a lot I needed to get out.

3.5 miles, 38:57

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  1. I have to tell you that your post really made me happy for you...I was SO much older than you when I made the same realizations about friends and people pleasing. When you truly know and accept that YOU are the person to please in YOUR life things get SO much easier. And the fact of the matter is that the people that you think you are going to cut out or loose were gone a while ago! (you will also be in a better place when you meet THE man!)
    Run when you can and keep up the strength training! That will keep your knee tracking correctly and keep it healthy!
    Take care

  2. I think you've done some very healthy reflecting and know what changes you need to make to make yourself happy. Life's too short to waste it being unhappy.

    Your exercise plan also looks good. Glad it makes you happy. :)

    You Go, Girl!!

  3. Oooohhh Jess I'm happy for you. Sounds like you've got your head on right (not that you didn't before, but you KWIM)

  4. I think you are a pretty smart young woman. Remember that being happy is a choice. What choices are you making? ;-)

  5. Those all sound like solid decisions -- from friendships to running.

  6. Anonymous1:08 PM

    You've got blogroll love, missy. Great post btw! I'm still thinking about my reflections :-P

  7. Jess, I hear you it just seems like stressful times for so many of us. You got it ou there and evaluated a plan. Hang in there!

    Loved the wedding pictures!

  8. Hang in there. Life does change and gets better. Running keeps me sane too and without it I am a complete b****.

  9. No is a very powerful word, but so hard to say.

    Your struggles with your friends is very similar. We are both in the post-undergrad stage, and its an awkward age. Some people are still stuck in partying mode, and others want to move on and grow up. Although I still party occasionally, my friends know my running is a priority. It took a lot of time, but they now don't question me when I head home at 10pm because I have a long run in the morning. I've made it clear they have to be friends with the entire me, not just the facet they want to be friends with.

  10. Awwww....those are all great realizations! And it's always good to let it out! : )

  11. You are making the right choice about your friends. Surround yourself with people that make you happy and that have similar interests. As far as your running goes, I think that you are being very smart about that too. No need to push that knee.