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Running From Stress on the Track

Posted on July 17 2014

Running TrackI had a very stressful morning. I’m leaving for Craftsbury, VT on Sunday for two weeks of coaching at the summer running camps. I love the job, but prepping my presentations has been time consuming, and as a homebody I generally get stressed when I have to leave my family for long periods of time. This is typical for me any time I have to travel – I stress until I get to my destination, but I always settle and have a blast whenever I get where I’m going.

Anyway, prepping for the trip, a bit of a chaotic summer schedule so far, and more clinic clients than usual the past few weeks has made it tough to get in solid blocks of time to write posts for the blog. Time management has been my biggest challenge since becoming a full-time blogger.

My goal this morning was to edit and publish a guest review by David Henry (Skechers GoMeb Speed 2), but when I booted up my blogging computer I was greeted by a blue screen of death. The old machine has been giving me trouble the past week since I interrupted a Windows Update (bad!!!). I couldn’t revive it, and resigned myself to the fact that I would need to re-install the operating system. Nothing quite gets my blood boiling as much as a non-cooperative computer when I need to get something done. That put me over the edge, and the air pressure and humidity (crazy storms up here!) weren’t helping.

My body had become a toxic stew of stress, and I got to the point where I started questioning my decision to become a blogger. It was totally irrational (everything has been going quite will since I resigned from my job as a college professor), but that’s how my brain works when I get acutely stressed. My wife came home from teaching yoga to my little breakdown, and I’m kind of ashamed that I shattered her zen with my mess. But she’s been with me long enough to know how to ride these waves.

I was going to do a long run when she got home, but the storms made me wary of getting caught far from home in a downpour. I opted instead to head to the track, and I’m glad I did. I think running long and slow would have allowed me to stew some more, but the track allowed me to cut loose and focus solely on speed. I did a three mile warm-up and then 12×400 at 5K pace with 200m rest between reps. I felt strong the entire way, and could feel the stress melt as I progressed. Running fast requires concentration, and there’s not a lot of room for crazy thoughts. It was a great workout.

I came home a sweaty mess, but felt immeasurably better. I’m happy to say that I’m writing this on the computer that was non-functional this morning, a fresh install of windows did the trick. The bonus is that wiping it allowed me to clear out about 4 years of digital clutter (fortunately I regularly back up the important stuff), and it’s now running a lot faster. The negative is that now I can’t justify buying a new machine to my wife, but I suppose saving money is saving money (I know somebody is going to tell me I need a Mac….).

So I guess the point here, aside from the fact that I just needed to vent a bit, is that sometimes when you think life is throwing everything it has at you, just go for a good hard run and burn away the stress. It almost always works for me, how about you?

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