Tougher Run, Teaching and Tears

Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Admiring the post-run view

This morning’s run was very tough. I was supposed to run for 28 minutes (according to C25K’s week 8, day 1). Instead I only lasted 11 minutes. I would like to say I ran/walked for the following 17 minutes, but I mostly walked. I was so frustrated and discouraged at the end that I burst into tears. I tried to shake it off, but it was tough. What could have accounted for such a poor run and – of even more concern – my over the top reaction?

The conditions: 73 degrees, 79% humidity, 65 dew point, overcast with little to no breeze. So it wasn’t too hot, but I prefer a breeze and lower humidity. Morning runs are always tougher for me than evening. But I’ve run better in more difficult conditions.

My reaction: Since completing the 5K at the end of June, I’ve really only had one good run. That was Wednesday night, so I was hoping that I’d continue to improve in advance of the Danskin tri one week from today. That hasn’t happened. In fact, today was worse than Friday’s tough run. I knew the run would be the toughest leg for me, but I had really hoped not to walk any of it. Had I not been able to complete the 5K in June, I probably wouldn’t have registered for the tri. But that doesn’t explain bursting into tears.

Hypothesis: Stress. Most people use exercise as an outlet for stress. So many people tell me how running clears their head. When I lived in Colorado, people used to tell me how much skiing or mountain biking cleared their head. This was never true for me. While I loved those sports, they didn’t clear my head. If I was stressed out I would go deeper in my head while skiing or biking and just ski or bike poorly. Playing the piano has always been just about the only thing that has helped me clear my head when I’m really stressed out. I think it engages the visual, auditory and kinesthetic in a way nothing else does for me.

Why so stressed? School. I go back to work (I am a teacher) on Tuesday and the kids arrive Thursday. My two smallest sources of stress related to the return to work are (1) I don’t know what I’m teaching yet and (2) I’ll have to learn 170 new names in 2 days. There are much larger concerns that have me questioning how much longer I want to be a teacher. I love to teach, but don’t love being a teacher. Ah, but that’s a different post. Actually, that’s a different blog. One I haven’t written (although it was the subject for my thesis).

Iced Coffee

Treating myself to post-run iced coffee at the park’s espresso bar.

On a more positive note, I wanted to have something positive to say for this blog post so I tried to regroup. I ended my run at a beautiful park and admired the view of the Manhattan skyline. I treated myself to an iced coffee. And then I used my Lolo Easy Legs app and did a short leg workout on the grass. I came home to words of encouragement from fellow bloggers. This means the world to me. Thank you so much for your support.

I think the plan for today is to sit down and play the piano for a bit. Then I’ll go for a ride or a swim – I’m sure either workout will go better than the run.

6 responses to “Tougher Run, Teaching and Tears

  1. Sorry to hear you had a less-than-stellar run. Don’t worry, though–the tough runs make the easier ones every more worthwhile. Iced coffee also makes everything better. 🙂

  2. Be easy yourself. You are doing great. Sometimes runs we think will be hard turn out to be easy and fast and sometimes its the other way around. Keep at it. Just think how much you are learning about yourself and your creative outlets for stress! Its a breakthrough! Woohoo!!

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