All I needed was a run

The past couple of weeks have been crappy at work. Things were already getting hectic because I was put on a new account at the beginning of October and then got a new hire on that account. (So imagine this: "Hi, I'm your new boss, but I have no idea what we're doing.") Then, about three weeks ago I was temporarily put on a team that was understaffed.

If you add up all the ways I'm currently being billed out, I am technically putting in 175% of my time: 50% each for my two main clients, 25% each for my two side projects, and 25% for the team that was understaffed. This translates into many 12+ hour days and lots of dinners at work. This also translates into a lot of stress that unfortunately made it's way home, dominated dinner conversations, and even snuck into my dreams. Yeah, not pleasant.

With this crazy schedule and no race to train for, I wasn't running or making it to the gym at all. It took until this Thursday for me to realize that my major stress reliever was missing from my routine and that I needed it now more than ever.

On Thursday once I realized I could wrap up my work at a reasonable hour (7:30p) I bolted out of the office. By 8:30 I had made it home, changed into running clothes, and headed to the gym. The plan was four miles and then some ab work afterward.

The run was exactly what I needed--better than any kind of massage or night of vegetating in front of the TV. I was able to physically beat the stress out of me. The repetitive motion and isolation allowed all the burdens of the week slip out of my brain. And then the sprint to the end of mile four--if you could call it a sprint, because I have lost all my speed since the race--gave me the sense of accomplishing something.

At the end of the run I was exhausted. I still don't understand how a run that I would have done in my sleep a month ago can suddenly become so difficult (I guess I lose conditioning pretty fast while I'm taking a post-race break). After some lower back work and some lifts on the captain's chair (I will have a strong core, damn it!) I went home a hungry and sweaty mess in the oddly warm and humid November night.

Wifey had gotten home right before me and I could smell the steak cooking as I was walking up the stairs to the apartment--food, food, delicious food! Wifey was making a fantastic dinner of steak and onions with couscous (my favorite side dish of late) and was almost done. I had just enough time to take off my shoes and jacket before dinner was ready. By the time I was done with dinner any thoughts from the previous weeks were blissfully out of my head, while I sat with a delightfully full stomach.

That night I slept about seven hours, which was about an hour or two more than I had been averaging for the three weeks leading up to it--and it was the best sleep I've had in months! I woke up on Friday all refreshed and happy, without a worry about anything. Who knew that all I needed was a run to get out of a rut?


FLYERS26 said...

I hear ya on running the stress outta your life!
It sure is a great stress relief!

joyRuN said...

7:30p is a decent hour? Blech. No wonder you've needed stress relief.

Glad your run gave your what you needed. Along with a great wifey who had a great dinner waiting for you! I need a wife...

Jess said...

It's always hard when one area of your life end sup interferring with other areas, especially when that one interferring is work. Blech.

Amanda said...

I always know I need a break when I start dreaming about work. running has definitely been my stress reliever over the years.

funny fact...they say it takes only 2 days for your body to start losing fitness!! WTF!

Viv said...

I am glad you were able to leave that stress on the run. It is always like your missing something but can't figure it out till you run and there it is....

nwgdc said...

You know, far too often I find myself in your position...getting home late, needing a stress reliever, and thinking about a run.

Then I have a beer. I'm far too weak.

Way to be strong! Those are the best runs...and the SLEEP is fantastic afterwards. It reminds me of this New Balance Commercial about "Hot, sweaty, make-up running." (Probably available on YouTube)