Health · Running

The Struggle with September

Let me be clear. September is one of my favorite months of the year. Second (maybe) only to October. I love autumn. I think it has some of the best weather of the year, and it is simply beautiful. Anyhow.

I don’t know about where you live – but where I live, September is just a complete sh*t show. I mean seriously.  Everything takes longer in September. It takes somuch longer for me to get to work on a daily basis. It takes longer to get to the gym, it takes longer to work out at the gym because more people are there. More people are everywhere . The market is just out of control whenever you go grocery shopping. Where do these people come from? (I’m not really asking. I know the answer.) Sometimes it takes longer to run.  It also gets dark a lot earlier, thus your day gets shorter just at the same time that it is taking you longer to get to work, and get home from work – so I’m constantly up against the wall when it comes to getting my outdoor runs in during the work week.

When everything else is taking so much longer in the day, and you are still trying to get everything accomplished that you were able to do just a couple of weeks ago – this also means you are inevitably getting less sleep.  Sleep is so important to being healthy. So I am trying to figure out how to be more effienent in everything I do so that I can still get to bed at a decent time and get at least six hours of sleep a night. (I should be getting eight hours of sleep a night, but that rarely happens especially during the work week.)

I feel like most of the time I do a decent job juggling a lot of balls in the air. I try to get to work, do a great job, eat healthy 90% of the time, get workouts in, cook and bake,  see friends, be healthy and keep myself at a healthy weight, write a blog, read, and be happy and in love.

In September I feel like I usually drop one of these balls and it stinks. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve dropped the running ball. (And maybe the workout ball, too to be honest.)  On Monday of this week, one of the [newer] senior staff members of my institution asked me if I was a runner.  For the first time in years I had to hesitate. Of course I should have just said yes. A couple of weeks off from serious running does not make you not a runner. But, I had a brief moment where I did not know how to answer the question. Finally I said, “Yes. I am.” Once I said that we talked about running for a while. The pause really freaked me out and made me realize that I need to get my butt back in gear.

The week before I went on vacation it was hot has heck, and I was not running a whole lot outside. I also decided a few times to skip a gym work out to see friends instead. The moment I start making these decisions, it is a slippery slope.

In August at one point I was lectured by friends and family about running outside in the dangerous heat.  As one person said, “Your half marathon is not until the middle of October – you have plenty of time.”

You know… that statement is totally true, until it is totally not true. Now it is the middle of September and I’m trying to get back into my pre-break shape. It is hard. It is a struggle. One that I am willing to do – but still.  September is not the time to take on a challenge like this. But I don’t have a choice, so I’m doing it.

The week of vacation I was perfectly fine taking a week off from running. I ran twice during the ten days of vacation. (I took the opportunity to sleep in and relax, and it was great!)  The week after vacation I worked four days and worked between 11 – 14 hour days at work. The first day I had a ten hour day (only!) was Friday, and by then I could not get a run in. I came home and crashed. But I got myself back on track on Saturday.

Saturday was an hour and forty minute work out which was wonderful.

Sunday was a 5 ½ mile run.

Monday was yet another late work day, so a scheduled day of rest for running and working out.

Tuesday I ran 4 miles.

On another note, over the last three months I have somehow gained five pounds.  Over the last week I have lost one , so I have four pounds to go. I have realized that it is a lot harder to run with five extra pounds. So I am trying to up my workouts and eat more salads, greek yogurt and chicken breast.  Hopefully this will work out.

The sad thing about the struggle with September is that it is one of my favorite months, but I am always so out of sorts trying to get back in control of things that it is usually over before I know it. This year I am trying to just take things as they go, work hard at things that I can work hard at and take everything else for what it is. I am determined to enjoy September this year!  I will keep you posted on how this determination plays out.

I hope you all enjoy the autumn season, too.

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