It’s gonna be may

May. A new month. A new chance to get things right.

I spent most of April stressed, sad and tired, but had no real reason to pinpoint why – unless you consider that it was probably my body saying “fuck, March was hard.” Which, let’s face it, is probably true. I’m just in denial about the damn thing.

I need to be kinder to myself. And also not give up so easily on myself.

I had a good month. Work was all right. I ran an 8k (a hilly AF 41:20) and a 5k (23:44 where I positive split HARD) and realized my fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Then I ran A LOT in the two weeks after these races in an effort to correct this.

The Mississauga half-marathon is this weekend. It will be a good test of my fitness. I want to run sub 1:50, but I don’t think that’s achievable. I just don’t think I’ve been running enough kms and doing enough speedwork to be there at the moment.

What I should do is just go for it. Run like hell, see how the race goes and accept whatever time is on the clock. I haven’t crossed a finish line totally elated with my effort and performance in a really long time – because I’m too hard on myself. (I don’t count Disney, because, well, when you run in a fairy costume, you’re going to have a good time.) Don’t hold back, but don’t beat myself up when the result isn’t what I want.

That’s the real goal. 1:50 is just a number.


Maybe we should just go home

March is my most bananas month at work. Lots of work on the weekend, overtime, and general busy-ness. I love it, but it means work/life balance is thrown out the window.

I used to beat myself up over this. For missing workouts because I had to stay late or came home totally spent. For eating crappy food instead of making a salad because it was easy and I needed to find comfort in something simple and straightforward. For taking the extra 30 minutes to sleep in instead of running or going to a class.

I’ve started to give myself a pass on all this. We only have a set amount of time and energy. And when my workload is normal, the pie is better evenly divided. But when work gets bonkers, I can’t expect the pie to get bigger. I just need to accept that work is going to take a way bigger slice of pie than normal and cut myself some slack elsewhere.

Now it’s the beginning of April and I’m a little heavier and a little less fit than I was at the beginning of March. I’m disappointed and frustrated with this setback, sure, but I’m working on accepting it. My balance in work/life/fitness is returning and, with that, time and energy for workouts, prepping healthy food and getting up early will return – as long as I prioritize it accordingly. I’ll get my body back, my fitness back, my life back. I just ned to decide what I want my life to look like now, understand how much of the pie each aspect of my life requires and make it so.

We all have stuff we value. And we all have responsibilities. It’s about making the balance work for you to get through whatever moment you are in, it’s not about living an Instagram-worthy life.

I say this to myself and I still don’t believe it, but I’m getting there.

What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger

Fitness is a constant battle of self-doubt and self-defeat.

I can’t do this.

I don’t want to do this.

This is too hard.

What’s the point?

I have at least one of these thoughts – usually most of them – every single day. Before a workout. During a workout. After a workout. I’ve skipped workouts because of these thoughts. I’ve given up during workouts because of these thoughts. I’ve let fitness goals slip away because of these thoughts.


Enough of that. I need to replace this negative self-talk (which can spiral out of control really quickly) with positive self-talk.

I can do this.

I want to do this.

I am crushing it.

I am strong.

I will achieve.

This is worth it.

I am worth it.

This battle is actually harder than the working out, the running and the waking up early. The getting in my own head enough to believe that running long and hard is a valuable, worthy thing I can do – and can do well.

I’m working on it. But damn, that voice inside my head can get so loud.

I’m in a funk and I can’t get out of it

I’ve been really struggling after New York.

I’ve been stressed, agitated, grumpy. I’ve been eating poorly and drinking too much.

Part of this is the holidays. Part of this is not having a structured fitness plan, even though I’m running *another* marathon in just a few weeks. Part of this is feeling stressed and unmotivated at work.

I know the only thing I can change here is my attitude, but that’s so damn hard.

I just need a break. A chance to relax, rest, restore. Prepare for 2017 and focus on what I want to go after next.

But I am not getting that right now. Right now it’s about powering through, best I can, finding happiness and contentment where I can, and knowing it’ll all be over soon.

I am not putting my best self forward at holiday events, work or at home. And I’m sorry to everyone who is experiencing that.

I’ve learned, in order to feel fresh, motivated and focused, I need the following:

1. To work out regularly and be accountable for it
2. To go to bed early
3. To have a creative outlet
4. To have a significant amount of alone time

I’ve let all these things get away from me since NYC. I need to be able to find these moments during this busy time when I can, where I can, and think about how I can structure these into my life in 2017 in a regular, systematic way.

But for now, I’ll do the best I can.

My 2017 word of the year

I’ve been thinking a lot about my word of the year. 2016’s word was purpose. I wanted everything I did, every decision I made to have a reason behind it.

2017 was going to be about focus. Or work. Or confidence.

But here’s the thing. I am good at working hard. At focusing. At setting goals and going after them.

Do you know what I am bad at?

Being positive.

Being present.

Not complaining.

Not worrying.

Hoping for the best.

Finding joy.

And so, I decided, it makes more sense for my word of the year to be about working on something I am bad at, instead of reinforcing something I am good at.

My word for 2017 is LOVE.

I feel this word embodies everything I need to strive for in my day to day. I’ll complain less if I am filled with love. I’ll be more present if i am filled with love. I’ll be more forgiving if I am filled with love. I’ll find more joy if I am filled with love.

This is going to be so fucking hard. I am pessimistic, plan for the worst, terrified of the future kind of person. And with the world the way it is these days… well, let’s just say that’s not helping.

So, 2017. Let me love you.

And the world.

And myself.

Advent challenge failure

I set a goal of running every day during the holiday season. An advent running challenge, if you will.

I failed by day 6.

I am disappointed in myself. But you learn more in failure than in success.

I learned that my body still isn’t recovered from my last marathon.

I learned that you can’t prioritize your social life, your fitness and your job at the same time.

I learned that forcing fitness into an already busy, stressful season turns exercising into a stress-inducing chore – when it should be the opposite.

I am learning to be less hard on myself.

I am learning to forgive myself.

And I am learning to just embrace the holidays, the food, the events, the togetherness. The cold. The snow. The holidays are not the time to sacrifice family and friends and relationships for an arbitrary fitness goal.

This is what I am telling myself.

I hope by the time the holidays are over, I’ll believe it.

Recovery is the worst

It’s been two weeks since I ran NYC.

I’ve worked out once.

It sucks.

I know it’s important to heal. Give your body a break. Re-focus on things you ignored while you were training. Get more sleep.

But I feel restless, purposeless, anxious.

I always need a goal. I always need to be working towards something. And while recovery is indeed that – working towards healing my body so I can tackle another training cycle with injury- and burn-out- free – it’s less tangible than training. There are no runs you need to do. No strength classes to take. No obsessing over splits and average paces and perceived effort.

There’s just rest.

This is an important lesson for me. That being still is as valuable as being on the move. That doing nothing is as valuable as doing everything. That just because you can’t quantify it or put it on a calendar doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile. This is more about me than my marathon recovery.

I hate it. But I am trying to learn from it and trying to grow because of it.

It’s so hard.

But so necessary.