Off Balance

My word of the year is Balance, which I blogged about around the first of the year.  There are soooo many areas in which I constantly fight imbalance.  I realize this struggle isn’t unique to me:  I think everyone in our society wrestles with it – especially moms!

Actually, I have been doing better with my balancing act than I thought was possible.  I was maintaining a regular strength training schedule and things were rocking and rolling as I got stronger and stronger with my running.  But in April, I practically derailed and I didn’t even realize how much until yesterday.

The running has been going GREAT!!  My volume has increased almost to what I was running before my injury….last month I ran 83 miles!  I ran all this without experiencing any major issues so life is good on that front.  However, almost all of my midweek runs have been at 5 AM, which is the time I had allotted for strength work, yoga and foam rolling.  What has slipped?? You guessed it: strength work, yoga and foam rolling.  (ALL the things I SWORE wouldn’t slip!)  The other side of this coin is that I am a piddler, and during my morning strength sessions I take coffee breaks…..LOTS of coffee breaks :).  Those mornings really are as relaxing for me as they are beneficial for strengthening my body and a great way to start the day, which makes the impact of all this two-fold.  I am slacking on things I need to do to keep me running healthy and I am slacking on things I need to do to keep me mentally grounded.  I haven’t quite gotten a handle on how to offset this, as most of my evenings are packed full with volleyball and softball.  My biggest problem: I am rarely at home.

I’ve noticed over the past few weeks that I feel tired ALL.  THE.  TIME.  That is SO NOT me.  In the back of my mind, I have known that I was burning the candle at both ends and that eventually it would catch up to me – and yesterday it did.  I got up at  the usual 4:20 to get ready for our 5AM run but something happened when I went to make my coffee.  I was stretching and afterward….my back wasn’t right.  It just felt tight and was hard to take a deep breath.  I got ready regardless and was about to walk out the door when I saw lightening.  I’m not going to lie: I was glad that we had to cancel the run.  All-in-all, I just didn’t feel myself.  I felt sluggish, exhausted and now I had this back thing to worry about.  I went to work and realized throughout the morning that I wasn’t only NOT feeling better….I was feeling worse!  So I decided to take the afternoon off and that turned out to be the smartest decision I’ve made in a while.  I went home and fell asleep almost immediately.  I took three 1-hour naps.  THREE!  (And when I say naps, I really mean slipped into an unconscious state, because I was effectively dead to the world!  It might be important to note that I NEVER take naps nor am I able to fall asleep when I do try one.)  By the time I woke up from the last one, I felt human again.  I had literally nearly run myself ragged.

We were planning to run this morning.  When my alarm went off at 4:20, I heard thunder almost immediately and checked my weather app.  Sure enough, we were covered up in a thunderstorm.  So what did I do?  I set my alarm for 5:30 and enjoyed another hour of sleep.  I should have gotten up to do strength work, but as a good friend reminded me yesterday: sleep is an important component of recovery (and I have not been getting my rest!).  So after a pre-9PM bedtime and some extra zzzzz’s this morning, I feel like Jen again – spunky and energetic!  And I think the rest was much more important that an AM strength session.  Hopefully I can get that in this evening 🙂

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week and we have the BEST Parent Teacher Organization around!  They provided sub sandwiches on Monday, breakfast on Tuesday, and lunch yesterday from a local Italian restaurant (YES, I ate before I went home!).  This morning, the school board provided breakfast and even though I had already eaten breakfast at home, I pigged out on this breakfast burrito.

breakfast burritio

Oh man, was it ever delicious!  I am Texan – of course I LOVE breakfast tacos!

This morning I also drank coffee from my new coffee cup for the first time.  I love it! Another special addition to my collection. 🙂runner mug

Happy Thursday everyone!  I’m feeling fairly balanced…..for now! 🙂


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