There is no doubt that adrenal fatigue and long distance running do not go together. But because I am mostly recovered from my adrenal fatigue I felt ready to run again. Unsurprisingly I am completely exhausted this week.
What has surprised me the most, however, is just how comfortable I am with it. Idle does not normally sit well with me. This week though, I am loving it. School is back and although one look at our routine for the two winter terms makes me want to cry, I am relishing in the peace and quiet both inside the house and inside my head. In fact, my ears are a little bit sore from the constancy of quiet during my working days.
We spent Sunday afternoon barefoot bowling with the awesome foursome and some lovely running friends. We got back in the car and the Baker said, “We need to get out more often. The kids loved it too.”
I have set aside this week to recover from Sunday’s run. I am insanely proud of myself even though my legs feel like they might snap off. The Baker has already been for another run because, actually I have no idea. It was just one of those things he needed to do, I guess? I have scheduled Pilates, osteopathy and myotherapy. My fridge is full of pre cooked meals, the slow cooker is on my bench and my online shopping is ordered and on its way. I will write and sleep and reconnect with the kids and the Baker. Next week, reality will bite again and I will be back running and running around. But for now, I am being kind to myself.
What struck me as the most odd about being kind to myself this week is why don’t I do it more often? Why has it taken me to run a half marathon until I cried to realise that I need to be kind to myself? And if that sentence doesn’t sound like a complete contradiction then I don’t know what is. I needed to run a half marathon to be kind to myself? What the actual fuck?
I suspect that because often, as a mother, you put yourself waaaahaaay down the priority list. You organise stuff, you bark orders at both the kids and your husbands (although we are all learning to shut up on that one aren’t we?) and you run around getting shit done because it just has to get done. To slow down for a bit isn’t really on the agenda because that agenda is stuffed full of all the other stuff that needs to get done, which doesn’t leave much time for you.
But I wonder if we turn around and say hey, I am going to be kind to myself every week then how would that make us feel? I’m not talking about getting to a Pilates class. Yeah, sure that is being kind to yourself to get out of the house and exercise but let’s look at the reality of that.
One Pilates class is equal to 4% of one single day.
I don’t know about you but I am worth way more than four percent. And although exercise is seriously amazing for both our bodies and our heads, it is not a luxury in my book. It is just part of your day and your routine. Just like unpacking the dishwasher.
But being kind to myself goes beyond taking a week to recover. It has struck me hard that it also includes the way that I think about myself. I’ve looked at photos of myself running on the weekend and do you know what my first thoughts were? I need to lose weight. Look at the cellulite on my legs. My boobs are massive.
What the fuckity fuck?
I am running a half marathon. And I am running it fast. I look like shit because I am hurting in a way I have never hurt before. I swear labour was easier because at least you can suck down on that gas and you get a beautiful baby at the end of it. At the end of a run you get a plastic medal and a fucking banana.
So why does my stupid head find itself being so utterly and ridiculously critical? Why is my language so ‘glass half empty’? And why in the scheme of things did I not just look at this amazing body of mine that has birthed babies, recovered from illness and injury and slogged out 21.1kms in under two hours? Because I am not being as kind to myself as I think I am.
So here is my promise to myself and a call to action for all of you who would like to join me. Just as I am learning to shut up with the constant criticism of my husband, I am also going to learn to shut up with the constant criticism of myself.
Colour me blue – calm + mindful.
Colour me yellow – happy + optimistic
Colour me green – with clarity + understanding.
Colour me in all of the colours that are just being kind to myself.