Tackling the ups and the downs

My run today pretty much mirrored the week I had last week. Lots of highs and lows, ups and downs. The difference is that when I run, I clearly have a strategy on how to deal with the up hills and down hills and I know how to listen to my body. I don’t do the same when it comes to work.

I can home 3 out of 5 evenings declaring that I had ‘just had the day outta hell’. I was exhausted. It felt as if all my energy had been drained from my body. It’s not so much work pressures but struggling to cope with office politics that’s getting the better of me. It’s mentally draining.

But then there were moments in my week when things at work were great. Moments when I felt valued, encouraged and hearing news which really lifted my spirits.

I need to approach the highs and lows as I do when I run. Tackling those up hills, my strategy is to slow down to a fast walk, to take in my surroundings and try forgetting about the burn in my legs. The hills do eventually come to an end.LSD 28 April

When I get to the flat sections and down hills, I speed up and just enjoy the wind in my hair as I let go and savor the feeling. The run become easier and I push myself.

I realize that every week will have those moments of stress and happiness. Of joy and pain, the ups and downs. Some days I need to slow down, reflect on what’s causing my stress and ‘ride the storm’. And on the good days, I need to just sit back and enjoy!

Great run today… Looking forward to a great week!

Running, like life, comes with many up hills

A friend asked me the other day what race I would recommend she should attempt to run as her first road race. She made the comment, “I want a nice easy race. No hills, nothing too tough. It must be as flat as possible.”

The ironic thing is that with running, the flat races are sometimes the most boring. They might appear easy but in the long run, they don’t provide much of a challenge. All you’ve got is the road ahead of you where your pace is unlikely to change much and your body is kept at a consistent level of exertion.

You see, the races that come with rolling hills are tough, but when you push yourself up the hills, the joy of reaching the top and the feeling of speeding up and letting yourself go on the downhills is fantastic. The mental negotiation you have between your mind and your body as you fight the urge to stop running and the freedom you feel when you reach the top and cruise downhill is victorius. You learn so much about yourself when you force your body to go beyond its limits and to succeed.

I guess most of us wish for those flat races, those times when everything runs smoothly, calmly and there are no bumps in the road to upset our plans. However, life is never that easy. It’s only by dealing with the up hills and overcoming the stresses of those difficult times in our lives that we learn to appreciate things more and learn more about ourselves.

Today’s rat race, with all its stresses and problems, is not easy, no matter what type of runner (or walker) you are. But often, it’s worth welcoming the up hills in our lives because once we push through, the rewards are worth it.