Is anyone else as stressed as I am these days? Stress seems to come at me from all directions...work, family, training, friends, etc. Some is good stress and some is not so good. I was reminded during a run the other week how stress and how we handle it can affect workouts and how our workouts can affect stress. It is easy to forget how interchangeable they are to each other.
Stress can affect all areas of our well being. For me, exercise is one of the key things I do to help with stress relief, and most of the time a really good workout can help me to fell better, especially if I am more stressed. However, there are times when I think the training I do and expectations I hold for myself while training can cause me even more stress. And I think sometimes my "bad workout days" are more likely a product of stress rather than me actually failing at the workout.
And all the sudden I was pissed. Pissed at my garmin for failing on me when I was trying so hard to do the right thing by staying in zone 2. Pissed because it was chaffing me and causing discomfort. Pissed because I was still cold and just mad that this winter has been so awful. And all of the sudden I couldn't stand the HR monitor around me, constricting me, making me even more angry. And I wanted it off. And so, during my run, I ripped it off, while running. As soon as it was off I felt a HUGE relief. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. And I took a huge breath, looked down at my watch, and immediately started laughing. Even though I was holding the darn thing in my hand, my Garmin was still reading 98 as my HR. And then I realized something else, my running suddenly was feeling effortless, and my last mile was the fastest (easy) mile I had done in years. My body felt like it was gliding along and I could just feel all the tension melting away. And the last 2 miles of that run were wonderful. It confirmed my love for running and how it makes me feel good. All was right in my world despite the horrible start to that run.