Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Don't Fear the Reaper

It’s Sunday night and I’m feeling pretty proud of myself for day 3 of the New Year and adhering to one of my promised “new me” changes by landing in bed before midnight. I somehow got into a horrible habit of hitting the pillow well past the mandatory sleep time runners need. Heck, I’ve been way past half of the recommended sleep. Trying to crank out “one more thing” before closing the day and that thing turned into one more and then yet another. I know this was affecting my training. But sometimes, many times, it’s not a matter of when I get to bed, but rather when I wake up - which seems to be at the ungodly hour of like 3a.m, and never falling back to sleep. Well if that’s the case, then I should try to land on my pillow just a tad earlier than I have been. A good goal, I think (one thing that’s good about this is that I have no problems getting up for an early marathon or a training run in the mountains. I’m up anyway, let’s just go!! But it does make for a very long day…especially when I have to work). Normally, though, I have no problems falling asleep. Sunday night, this was not the case.

One word: Anxiety.

Over what? Initially, I wasn’t sure. At 8:00 that night, I was doing some writing and was lying in my bed doing so (I know, I know…a very bad habit I got into … no wonder my back hurts from time to time.) and I was so tired, I almost passed out right there – but come 10:00, when my head hit the pillow, I was wired and I was wide awake. Errr! Go. To. Sleep. NOW. Jill!!!! NOW!! Okay, NOOOOOWWWW!!!!

Didn’t work. Does it ever when we force it?

I don’t like change much. I’m kinda one that gets content with the way things are, and I definitely like my duckies all lined up and organized. You can call me anal if you want…I am, but not about everything – just certain things. Ya know, like my training. Monday marked the first day I would have started back with my trainer after my mandatory time off from Tucson. Monday marked a day of change – I’m starting the New Year all on my own. Ah…welcome anxiety!! It all hit me during my alone time with me – when I needed to sleep. I realized I didn’t have to get up at 4:45 the next morning and start my weight training and I suddenly questioned everything about my running. The fact I’ll be doing 99.9% of it by myself for Boston absolutely terrified me. And I couldn’t sleep. I was fearing the reaper....that weight training reaper!

I woke up yesterday in a complete sleepy-eyed fog and stumbled into work. Great. First day back and the kids are going to wonder just how wild of a NYE night I had playing cards with the neighbors.

Fast forward to finally exiting work Monday, having somehow managed to make it through the day, excited because I had a hair appointment to get new highlights. Nothing like some new brightness to the hair to elevate your mood, huh?? The woman that does my hair lives in my neighborhood and her biz is in her basement. Convenient!! And she’s just really nice, I love spending time talking to her. Well, in typical A.D.D. form, I knock on the door of her house and she answers, “Hi, what’s up?” Um, I have an appointment today? Apparently, no. That’s tomorrow, she stated. Yeah, I love my A.D.D moments! She managed to work me in regardless – yea – and it pumped me up for the 7 easy miler I had last night.

Hop on the treadmill at 8:00 last night to finally do my 7. I know, late, but I had so much to do when I got home and really was procrastinating the whole thing. I brought my book I’m reading, my iPod, my cell phone so I could text the daughter who just went back to college and turn on some HGTV. Nothing like a little distraction for the task at hand: running. I’ve never run with a book at the forefront o f my treadmill – I have to say, I liked it! It wasn’t the easiest thing to read but wow, it really helped pass the time away.
But while reading, texting, watching tv, and listening to my music, a song came on. And not just a song – a song that literally erased my anxiety in a flash.

Don’t fear the reaper
Baby, take my hand
Don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly
Don’t fear the reaper


Metaphor girl listened and the words of Blue Oyster Cult hit me like a brick. Okay, the lyrics don't pertain to running, I'm not sure what they are referring to actually, but this is what translated: Don’t be afraid, Jill. Trust your training, your experience, your judgment. You will be just fine. You know what to do. Hold your own hand, you will fly! Yeah, I'm just kind of corny like that! I tell ya, I'm just all about anything inspiring and this song seem to find it's way to my head!

I went to bed last night and felt good. I slept well (ish) and woke up feeling energized to tackle the weight/core training on my own. I may not like it (anyone actually LIKE weight training??), and I may not enjoy it….but I know it’s pivotal in my marathon performance and I need to stick with it.

At work, there’s a Biggest Loser contest going on, starting today, for staff and faculty to see who can lose the most amount of weight in the next 12 or so weeks (I forget the exact time frame). The chick running the thing asked if I would be interested in sharing some of my wisdom so I made a weekly exercise and nutrition guide, it’s pretty basic in the exercise department – I have no idea what type of lifestyles most are coming from…but just determined a sedentary one was probably where most were. Today was weigh-in #1. For the entire day, I listed to about 60 people explain to me why they have fallen from healthy habits and gotten into a rut of bad choices. I guess I was the priest they were making their confession to. I had to smile. It is very special for me to take something I love as much as running and tie that into words and images that resonate with people coming from every perspective, especially a sedentary one. I explained to many, who told me they had no time to work out, that every single one of us makes time for what is mandatory. For a runner, running is mandatory; it keeps us healthy, it keeps us sane. Running for me is mandatory and there are no excuses!

There are no excuses. Weight training and core strengthening is mandatory, I will do it. I’m going to sit down tonight, with my newly brightened hair, and make a plan of what I need to do and, like my running, find no excuses not to do it. I’m actually very excited. I will not be afraid :).

27 comments:

runningcommentaries said...

Never underestimate the ability of a good highlight and haircut to kick your year off right :)

2010 is going to be great and you are going to do just fine training for Boston. You know how to train for a marathon. You know how to prepare well, now you just need to do it!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

OK this post seems to be a "get it all off your chest Jill" kind of post. Vent on baby, then do your work and GO TO SLEEP!!

Hugs to you being the Fit guru, that must be an amazing feeling.. Bl starts on TV tonight, I think??

Avatar is a very good movie..

Meg Runs said...

Oh Jilly, I'm sorry you've had squirrel brain at bedtime, that's the worst(but very common for us ADD folks)! Hope you are having an easier time this week. By the way, I felt so sorry about your hair appt. I look forward to that day every 6 weeks and don't LET ANYTHING get in the way of covering those gray hairs or else...grrrrr! Thanks for all of your virtual hugs and support on my blog, it's all going to be okay. Thanks again, you're the best! Hotel discussions still under way, by the way! I'll be in touch!
Meg

onelittletrigirl said...

I hate when I get like that at night- sometimes I feel like I am "working" at home because I get thinking about everything I have to do! Sometimes it is nice to know we aren't alone!

Our work Biggest Loser begins next Friday :)

runningBarefoot said...

I hate the crazy anxious brain running at bed time. I run into this al the time :P Good luck with the bed before midnight goal!

Run Jess Run said...

...makes me want more cowbell...

Julie said...

Jill,
I just read your last paragraph about five times...weight training and core strengthening is manditory! I will do it! I will not be afraid! You just talked me into it:) My abs and core need some work...thanks for the indirect pep talk:)

Katie said...

I love this post! Lying awake worried at night when I should be sleeping has happened to me a few times in the past couple of weeks. I can't shut my brain off! At one point I got myself out of bed and wrote down everything I was thinking of and told myself I would deal with it in the morning. That helped, somewhat.

2010 is going to be a great year for you!

Heather said...

Way to conquer the fear! Knowing that you are setting such an awesome example for your coworkers should also help motivate you with the weight training.

Hapi said...

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Melissa said...

Love it when I get "new hair".

Now go get some sleep! :)

Mikey B said...

No pics of the "new" hair? Awwwwwwww, boooooo!

I hear a lot of people who agree with me when I say you are smart enough to handle the weight training yourself and you will be surprised how well you do this year.

You've got a lot of us motivated, even to go running in 11 degree wind chill! (geez, I still can't believe I did that today.)

Mikey B

Teamarcia said...

What a timely post. I am there too. Maybe it's the time of year and the new training cycle. I'll be fine and you will too. We will get there!

Jennifer said...

The world needs more people like you, willing to give their time to help others get fit! Kudos for you!

Katie A. said...

Hmmmm, I am training/running for Boston all by myself, too. I wonder if there is a way that we could run virtually together a few times a week. Maybe I will email you my training schedule and yours to me...we can do this girly!
You know, I am a huge planner. A huge Type A, have everything all worked out in advance kind-of chic. I have control issues. I admit it. But sleep comes really easy to me. I am in bed every single night around 8 and am asleep before 8:30. I know, crazy. If I don't sleep I don't function. Pretty soon though, I will be sacrificing some sleep with tax season and not be a happy camper - but running is madatory, right!?
Let's figure out a way to do this together! (((huggss)))

Dennis said...

Ironic that you like that song, but you don't like cowbells at races...

http://www.funnyhub.com/videos/pages/snl-more-cowbell.html

Will Farrell is a runner too BTW.

L.B. said...

That's great that you get to share your running enthusiasm/knowledge with others!

I do have one beef: did you say weight training and core strengthening are mandatory? Crap. Because I don't do either :( Guess I'll have to get on that bandwagon sooner or later.

Julia said...

Hi I'm new to your blog, and I really enjoyed this post. Good luck with your training for Boston; hope to one day make it there myself!
I guess I am one of the weirdos who actually LIKES strength training... I like pain I guess, haha. It's great that you are helping your office's biggest loser challenge!

shellyrm said...

How great that you are giving guidance to others at work. Let them learn from your wisdom! That really makes you feel good, huh? When someone thinks enough of you to ask for your advise!

We are the same with change. I like routine. That's why I like to run every day. Well, that and running for me is mandatory, too! We are so alike!

Highlights in the winter are almost a good as getting the sun to shine. (which I haven't seen in days here!)

I don't like lifting either. boring! I know I should be doing it though. Grrrr.

Now go to bed! I am having trouble with bed time since the holidays too. But tonight I will get to bed early. I will! You too!

Ulyana said...

This was a wonderful read. Thank you. I hate weight training too. And I've been feeling lonely in the same way... I've got to remember to trust myself :)

Tara said...

Jill-relax girl! Trust in yourself and your ability to "make it happen". You are going to be just fine at Boston!

I know that is easy for me to say, since I am a go with the flow girl, but TRUST yourself.

I've been doing tons of core work too. I realized the other day that I actually have started to have a strong stomach! It makes me feel really good!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Isn't running a good motivator? To lift weights, to do core exercises and to eat healthy foods.

Glenn Jones said...

Touche! What an inspiring post!

Abby said...

What a great post. I've been struggling with sleep recently, too - a combination of dissertation-related anxiety and an inability to shut off my brain (I'm handing the final manuscript over to the committee two weeks from today, so it's been rather all-consuming). Even though the issues are totally different, your thoughts put me at ease.

Good luck with training solo - I bet it'll turn out to be really empowering!

onebadrunner said...

What a great way to inspire and be inspired - by helping others. Sometimes when I doubt myself, there's a tinge of validity in someone else recognizing my worth. I see that as God's work! :-)

ricky123 said...

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adamrculp said...

Loved the way you added that running/working out is a matter of what is mandatory...did you really tell them that? I hope so. Too many don't think of it that way. I think I will do a quick blog on that since I also have other sedentary people asking me similar things lately.