Dearest exercise

Please do me a huge favor and find your way back into my life. Seriously, I miss you and want you back. I’ll do anything. Really! Don’t make me grovel…

Honestly, although I love working out, I just haven’t in the past three weeks. What does this correspond with? Well that would be the starting of the school year. Since beginning classes I’ve given up control of most other aspects in my life and given myself over to the program. It is rigorous. My sleep pattern has suffered, I’ve had minimal time to meet new people, and, worst of all, my running is going on the back burner.

This weekend, when I was given the opportunity to have a few hours off, I chose to go to a party in San Francisco. This in itself is not the issue, the issue is my decision to stay out late and drink too much so that I could not pull myself out of bed to go for a long run in the morning. Instead I got restless sleep for a few more hours and spent the entire day working in my office. I did manage a short run this morning, but I know that I need to pick it up a notch to prepare for my marathon in December.

The issue I’m finding is that I feel inappropriate leaving the office early when so many of my fellow grad students are staying in the building to get work accomplished. In fact, I can honestly say I felt guilty when I left the office to go play frisbee this week. If I could manage to get out of bed by six every morning then maybe I’d be able to have the time, but this would also require me to leave the office before ten each night. Sigh, what did I sign myself up for?

How do you make the time to workout? What sacrifices have you made to exercise more frequently?

This is what I spend my time doing these days... (Did you know art is hard?!)

Note: More positive posts to come later. Maybe. If I can find the time to write posts.

About Michelle

I'm an engineer living (and running) in Palo Alto, CA.

Posted on October 16, 2011, in Body, Running and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. My advice to you (and to me) is not to feel guilty leaving at a decent hour. I know that when I don’t get a workout in, my work and personal life suffers. I’m just plain cranky. So just tell yourself that you’re doing it for your mental health. Every brain needs a break!

    • I tried to warn them (my program) that I’d be a cranky pants if I didn’t get my exercise in, they just don’t listen! But you are right, I’m finding my mental health is deteriorating these days and exercise would be a great break.

  2. I’m a really bad multi-tasker. When I’m busy at work I’ll end up cutting down on exercise first, even though it’s something I really enjoy. I wish I could offer up some kind of profound advice but I’m no good at this one. I think it may take awhile but you’ll find your groove. :)

    • I’m a bad multi-tasker too! I focus too much on my work these days and forget that there is a world outside my office. Thanks for the encouragement, hopefully it won’t take to long to find that groove.

  3. What worked (and still works) for me was (is) to plan ahead then resolve to stick to it. I also told my professor (my research adviser) that I’m going to get sick and go crazy if I don’t hit the gym/run. So he and my lab mates understood why I left earlier than everybody else.

    My routine only broke during the final semester – two months into my thesis defense. I needed to write my paper and do some final tests. It was a worthwhile trade-off.

    Good luck with the balancing act. :)

    • I’m jealous that you can plan and actually stick with it, I’ve been having trouble with that these days. I’ve dropped hints that I’m training for a marathon, but I still feel bad leaving early. I’ll have to get over it (and quick).

  4. So I’ll be honest, I used to get up at 5 AM so I’d have time to exercise. That meant going to bed by 8:30, so I always left work by dinnertime. Before that when I sometimes had to work to 9:30 or 10 PM, I would exercise at 7 and come in later. There’s no reason that you have to sit there unless someone says otherwise, so you have to stop feeling guilty and give yourself permission to do some work from home after your work out.

    • Yeah, about waking up at 5am… The last time I did that was when I had a hot trainer to motivate me, at this point there is very little getting me out of bed before 7am! Can you come and remind me that I have no reason to feel guilty? I’d really appreciate that.

  5. Ugh…I remember that feeling. I think when I was in grad school I managed to get in maybe one run a week of maybe 5-6 miles. I was definitely not very good about drawing boundaries & always felt better (and more productive) when I got some running in, so I say pick a couple of days a week when you say screw ’em & leave early.

    • You may be onto something there, I’ll just tell them to go bugger off so I can get some time to focus on my sanity. I think it will take some time to learn how to draw boundaries, but I hope to get it down soon.

  6. I, too, am having these issues right now with time and too much school work. I’ve just been letting myself do shorter workouts and be okay with it. I aim to workout 4 days a week right now and every workout is roughly 30 minutes. Is that as much as I’d like to do? No, but it allows me to get in some exercise and get the benefits of stress relief and feeling better about myself.

    I know you are training for races right now, but maybe once these races are over you can take a break from racing and just focus on short workouts to make sure you are getting them in? Or maybe it’s just you need a shift in priorities? I don’t know what will help you, but I hope you find something!

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