Monday 21 May 2012

A tricky 2 weeks

Week four : Begin with a brisk 5-minute walk then 3 minutes of running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running, 2½ minutes walking, 3 minutes running, 90 seconds walking, 5 minutes running.

Week five : There are three different workouts for this week. They are as follows: Workout 1: brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 5 minutes running.
Workout 2: brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes running, 5 minutes walking, 8 minutes running.
Workout 3: brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes running, with no walking.

The last 2 weeks have been quite mentally exhausting and I don't feel out of the woods yet.

There was a gap of about 3 days between week 4 runs 2 and 3 as a sickness bug tried to sneak its way into the house leaving me feeling very queasy and out of sorts. At the same time, the baby's nighttime sleeping habits took a nosedive (not that they'd ever been that great anyway!) and I found myself struggling to get through the days.

In those 3 days, I could feel my motivation to run waning, not because I found the plan too hard and too much for me (as I did in this post "to quit or not to quit" ) but because I didn't have the physical and mental energy to put on my running shoes and get on the treadmill.

As if that wasn't bad enough, I could feel negative thought patterns about myself and my parenting abilities creep back into my mind. I started to withdraw into myself and began to feel more and more emotional.  I thought I'd gotten past this earlier this year but I guess not.

I know I'm sounding all doom and gloom but stay with me, there is a happy ending. I forced myself to do my final run of week 3 and the exercise definately helped to lift my head into a bit of a better place and gave my body an energy boost. I kept the momentum going by doing a quick stretching and strengthening workout the next day and was able to enter week 5 of the Grr Argh! Challenge with a sense of trepidation that, on the whole, was outweighed by an attitude of "bring it on!".

I'm going to be honest. Week 5 was tough but what really helped me this week was having a good playlist to run to. I hit moments where I thought "I'm going to have to stop running and walk" but then Iron Maiden would start to play and I was able to dig deep within myself to keep going.

Run to the Hills is one of my favourite Maiden tracks and the trademark galloping rhythm made it a perfect running tune for me:

The Week 5 plan culminated with 20 minutes of non-stop running and I am so very, very proud of myself for doing this. At the start of the year, I would never have been able to do this and I can't believe how far I've come in just 5 weeks.

And as for those negative thoughts? well, exercise may help to keep the demons at bay but nothing can beat talking about them with someone. Don't keep them bottled up or they'll slowly eat away at you. Bring them out into the light. Share them with someone - a family member, a good friend, your doctor. I know it can be so very, very hard but there's no reason to feel ashamed of the way you feel and the relief you'll feel simply by taking that first step of speaking up will be worth it.

My husband has been a real support since I spoke to him. It was hard to open up because I was aware some of my thoughts weren't rational and I didn't want him to think badly of me, or worse, think I was "crazy" but he managed to be just what I needed - a calm, loving, listening ear without judgment. I still have patches of darkness in my mind but I'm no longer feeling mentally overwhelmed and even if this shifts the other way, I know I don't have to face things on my own.

This makes a big difference.

I Want My Mummy


Unknown said...

Awesome job! Well done you, you will survive us all in the zombie battle to come! Just promise you'll end it for me if I turn!!

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