Mentally and Physically Trying.

Today has been difficult both mentally and physically.  I am still really struggling with feelings of boredom and loneliness while back at school.  Luckily this weekend I was able to see some of my friends on Friday, who now have “real lives” and work in Baltimore, and on Saturday I was able to go down to DC for the night and visit more friends.  As fun as those night were, they really reinforced my loneliness during the week at school.  It was really hard to go from being surrounded by some of my favorite people in the world, to walking through campus a lone and sitting a lone in my room.  It looks like I’ll have to adopt the “living for the weekends” mentality since I seem to have few other social interactions during the week.  Hopefully one positive thing that comes out of this will be a high final GPA 🙂

I think another reason why my emotional state was a tad less than stellar would probably be due to my very, very difficult 6 mile run this morning.  After shuffling around my training plan to accommodate hang overs, seeing friends, class, work, and weather, it looked like today would be the perfect day for one of my longer training runs.  Luckily Mondays are a little less busy than all other days in my week, but after yesterdays hard 5 miles (got a tad lost and ran an extra mile) I was a little skeptical of how this run was going to go.  I thought the run yesterday I went on was full of tough hills, but the route I took today was way more extreme.  As much as I love the more active running community I am surrounded by in Baltimore, I definitely miss the relatively flat routes I got to run all summer.  I have not yet adjusted to these steep climbs and my legs are really feeling the burn.  Throughout my run I thought about cutting a mile off of my planned route, but I kept trying to remind myself that this race is coming whether I am ready or not and in the end I will only be cheating myself.  I probably took more walking breaks on this run that I have in a while, and there was one point on a significant climb that I stopped and almost started to cry because I was so overwhelmed by it.  After composing myself and my thoughts, I started to run again determined to keep my mind in the positive.  I vowed to listen to my body and take walk breaks if needed, but I was going to finish the 6 miles I had planned.  I even began saying “go Ali” and “you got this” out loud to myself.  Regardless of how crazy I may have looked, reassuring myself out loud really helped me push through, and in the end I ended up finishing the 6 miles in under 43 minutes.  The fact that I still maintained under 9 min miles overall, even with the hills and walking breaks, was extremely shocking to me.  I really did not believe I was maintaining a consistent enough pace, but this just goes to show I need to have more faith in my running performance.  In the past I have tried to not look at my stopwatch on my Ipod (except to pause it when I have to wait to cross the street)while I am running because I don’t want to feel pressured, but maybe I should check the timer a little bit more often to help dispel the negative thoughts about my performance.   As hard as this run was, I definitely learned a lot from it, namely that I need to be easier on myself and cannot expect to perform the same way on every run.  Luckily tomorrow just calls for an easy 3 miles that I will most likely just bang out on the treadmill in between classes in an effort to avoid the dreaded hills 🙂

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