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Stupid Vicious Cycles (Read 499 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    No...this isn't a thread about bicycling... Wink Does anyone else find that life difficulties = poor run quality = frustration/stress = poor run quality ∞ ? This month has been positively wretched for me. The first weekend of Nov. we traveled 8+ hours each way to spend time with my FIL as he fought his last days with cancer. On the 8th he passed-away and we again made the trip back-and-forth the next weekend for his memorial. On Sunday we returned from our 3rd trip to IL this month...so I've spent about 50 hours of this month in the car, eating bad food, sleeping (not well or enough) on a painfully firm mattress while at my IL's, you get the picture.... Lately my runs have included as much walking as running and shin splints, tight calves, and the numb feet that almost always follow. I can almost predict the onset of these, now. Good sleep = pain-free runs....poor sleep = painful runs. I haven't had more than a smattering of good nights of sleep all month. Anyhow, last night I couldn't sleep because I was stressed-out that if I didn't get a good night's sleep (for a change) that my run would suck. So I didn't get a good night's sleep and my run did suck. My bad runs (ie the runs where effort outweighs quality and neither is good) this past month have far outweighed the good...which causes more stress, lack of sleep, and generally crappy attitude towards everything, including my runs. While I know this is temporary (at least I hope this is the case), it still sucks to be in the middle of it. I am REALLY looking forward to catching up on sleep this weekend and hopefully derailing this stupid cycle. I want Dec. to be a month like Sept. and Oct. were. I want my mileage to be back in the 20-25 mile/week range, instead of struggling to make 15 and being miserable for most of those miles. I really miss running for pleasure, instead of running just to keep myself from losing all conditioning I worked so hard to build. k

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Ha, there really is (well, was - I think they went out of business) a company named Vicious Cycles. But in all seriousness, I've found that if I feel stuck doing anything, the best thing for me is to take a break from the thing that makes me feel stuck if I can. If I feel stuck where I live, I'll take a short road trip. If I'm stuck at work, I'll get a new project to work on for a bit. If I feel stuck running, I'll ride my bike or go climbing or go swimming or do yoga and still stay in shape. Sometimes your body or your brain (or both) just burn out on doing something. When your body burns out on your brain it's pretty frustrating, as you've mentioned, but if you can find something else to do for a bit (xcountry skiing? snowshoeing? you posted about them somewhere) I bet you'll come back to running soon and feel great about yourself. Hang in there!
        I have to second what Sistinas has said!!

        Your toughness is made up of equal parts persistence and experience. You don't so much outrun your opponents as outlast and outsmart them, and the toughest opponent of all is the one inside your head." - Joe Henderson

          Yeah. I agree. Take a break for a while. You're probably burned out. Do something different that will still improve your fitness and then come back to it. BTW, you coudl still track it on RA and hang out with us...

          Roads were made for journeys...


          Prophet!

            i can relate to that...my 19 month old (who now have mastered the power of the word "no" not for the purpose of good) and I have been passing colds and coughs back and forth for about a month now so good night sleeps have been rare...between trying to get better healthwise and being afraid to lose more marathon training time i'm probably not allowing myself to get better. Tried to take some runs off during the week but that left the quality of the long runs much worse. Strangely enough the last time i felt 100% was in October...maybe that Vicious Cycle thy name is November ???


            Needs more cowbell!

              If only it were the running that is causing me the stress...I think it's the other way around and when I'm not running I feel antsy, then I don't sleep well and it makes my runs crummy. I had a decent run on Turkey Day (my virtual race with lots of hills and my time was still pretty respectable) and I'm certain it was because I'd just had several nights of sleep in my own bed and was able to catch up on rest a bit last weekend with only the night before Thanksgiving at my MIL's. Then the next run after that stunk (after several nights on that hard mattress on the floor) and today's run (after not sleeping well last night). I plan to run again on Thurs. and will be interested to see if my run is better then. Dec. should also be a MUCH quieter run and back to my usual sleep and routines--and NO long car trips or sleeping in strange beds.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              Now that was a bath...

                Kirsten - you know from my other thread that I had a similar issue today. My little girl has a terrible cold and I spend most of the night waiting for her to be sick from too much coughing - plus I am getting up at 5:45am to run. I feel exhausted all the time at the moment. I think that that on top of the two major arguments I had yesterday made for a bad run day for me. You've been under loads of stress of late, you need some loving girl! I don't think that I would want to stop running though. I am going to look at running some new routes, I find that I feel refreshed when the view is new! You could leave the stop watch at home and just run for fun for a while. I know that filling in the log can be addictive, but I find running less stressful when I am not trying to impress or improve and I need to remember that i started doing this because I really do enjoy to run. One last idea -if you don't want to give the running a rest - how about including some trail running. I am going to do my long run this weekend at a park/ nature reserve. I want to focus on something different and inject a new idea into the mix. Keeping it fresh might help you to find your 'running fun' again. Claire xxx
              • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
              • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.


                Needs more cowbell!

                  One last idea -if you don't want to give the running a rest - how about including some trail running. I am going to do my long run this weekend at a park/ nature reserve. I want to focus on something different and inject a new idea into the mix. Keeping it fresh might help you to find your 'running fun' again. Claire xxx
                  Ha, not during deer hunting season--I don't wanna get shot! Wink Next week I will start adding my kick-boxing cross training to the mix, which should help. I had intended to start cross training to make up for my reduction in running over the Fall and Winter months, but with all the stuff surrounding the death of my FIL that got pushed to the back burner. I think half of my stress is from running so few miles and having no other constructive outlet. Pretty much every negative factor has hit me at once...I went from running 25-30 miles/week to suddenly running only 15-20. It makes me antsy, which causes stress, which keeps me up at night...icky cycle.

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)