Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Inevitable Burn out


Today I burnt out.
Two miles into my 9 mile long run I knew I had to turn back.
My heart was pounding in my chest like something had just made me jump. My heart rate was rapid.
I headed home, walking the last half a mile.

I don't know why I was surprised.
As someone who rarely goes out-out and almost never sees 11pm, I've had two nights out over the course of the week.
Both of which I loved, for the record.
But both times, the following day, I forced myself to do a run or a workout. Both times I woke up far too early but pushed myself to start my day.
I think I've been overtired all week.
Getting up at 5.30am is rough enough, but this week I really felt it.
I've been feeling exhausted by 9pm but I've not wanted to go to bed because I didn't want to "waste" my evening.
I've had a couple of long, difficult and emotionally-draining weeks at work.
Monday was so bad that instead of going to choir I came home and cried.

I exist under a constantly cloud of self-inflicted pressure and guilt and anxiety. Constantly comparing myself to other people. Constantly pushing myself to do more and to do better.

I feel like I can never get the balance right between what I should be doing and what I want to do. I can never get the balance right between all the things I love.

And I can never, ever give myself a break.

Advice to give myself a rest from running is great, but not so great when I know giving myself a rest will give me even more anxiety about my upcoming race. Telling me not to worry about all the food prep I do will just make me more stressed in the mornings before work. Telling me to relax will just make me even more panicky about the constant to-do list I have.

I just feel like I can't get it right.

I want to fit in my training, but I also want to enjoy time with my friends and family. I want to enjoy our trip to Whitby next weekend but I know I'll be worrying about the runs I've missed. I want to run but I don't want to have to turn around after two miles because I feel so exhausted.

I want to try to relax today but I know I find it so hard to give myself permission to relax and to do nothing. Yesterday I sat down with a book for 5 minutes before jumping up and deciding to make banana bread. Oh and then it was time to make dinner. And before I knew it it was bedtime and I had to go to bed because I had an early start for my run.

I get the mick taken out of me at work for always doing things, never relaxing, always pushing, always doing more, always coming into work after a 5 mile run. And the truth is I like that. I like the idea that people think I'm a superwoman who can do anything.

But I'm not and I can't. And I never think I'm doing enough.

And this is why I'm burned out. Even an hour after coming home exhausted from my run I launched into doing the washing and making an unnecessarily elaborate breakfast (which was great, but I probably could have just had avocado on toast). I'm getting up earlier and earlier to get everything "out of the way" but then I end up simultaneously tired and restless and have to find things to do so I don't get bored. I add unnecessary things to do to-do list and then get stressed when I don't want to do them.

The irony is, I often find myself feeling lazy and disorganised. Even more so when I skip something on my to-do list or allow myself some extra sleep instead of a workout when I'm feeling overworked.

I feel pathetic because I'm not the first person ever to run a home and have a job and a blog and be marathon training and also trying to have a social life. Why can everyone else do it?

I got home from my run 2 hours ago. I can see feel that racing heartbeat.





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