Lessons learned from a 7 mile run and a spin class

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The last few weeks I’ve been struggling hard with deciding if I want to run another marathon in November. Only a few months away training would need to begin soon. I’ve felt a lot of pressure (placed on myself by myself) to go for it. But, another part of me was extremely hesitant. After a bit of self reflection and a few lessons learned from a seven mile run and a spin class I can now say I have a true direction with my fitness priorities for the rest of the year. *Spoiler: It’s all about FUN!

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If you follow me on IG and watch stories, you know I’ve been struggling a lot with running lately. Like, a lot a lot. After running a marathon I think it’s fair to say you feel a certain amount of invincibility. I ran 26.2 friggin miles! But the past few weeks running three miles felt barely doable. And I’ve been slow, which is a hit to my pride. It’s not like I haven’t been working out. I might not be running as much lately but I’ve been doing a lot of strength training and other forms of cardio.

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You can read about my first marathon here.

Last weekend I decided it was time to get over myself and do seven miles. Seven was stuck in my head that if I ran that I wouldn’t feel like such a loser. I’m not asking for sympathy here and realize I can’t expect myself to perform like when training for a marathon. Really, I get it. However, I am physically capable of running seven miles, it honestly shouldn’t be a problem. So last Saturday morning off I went to get the miles in.

But it totally sucked.Ā 

Two miles in I knew seven wasn’t happening. It was 90 out, no wind, and I was already tired. I pushed until mile three and called it a day. I felt mentally exhausted. Physically yes, but not as much as mental.

Lately I’ve been struggling with mental fatigue. I have a lot going on, in business and regular life. Having two kids and a husband isn’t for the faint of heart, then throw in trying to grow a little empire and hola! Mama’s got a lot on her plate! And really, I wouldn’t have it any other way, but still, I’m pooped. It’s hard with a baby business to not feel like you have to put Every. Single. Available. Minute. Into. It. You see progress and don’t want to lose ground, so you push and push and push and then realize the rest of your life is falling apart. #EntrepreneurProblems (It’s a serious condition!) šŸ˜‰ Ā That mental fatigue has been bleeding off into everything else.

I texted my friend and running pal Christine at mile three and pretty much begged her to help me run seven miles. She was available the very next morning so I said let’s do it!!! I went to REI, grabbed a few GU’s, (I needed all the help I could get) went home and hydrated like a queen so there was no excuses the following morning.

A Seven Mile Run & A Lesson Learned

5am came and Christine and I were ready to rock. My pace was still very slow, low elevens, but I wasn’t going to complain as long as I was able to hit seven. And I did it! It’s amazing what running with a friend can do! Also getting up before the heat didn’t hurt either. I knew I could do seven, I just needed the push of a friend by my side along with proper fueling and hydration the previous day.

As I was thinking about the impending marathon a couple hours after the run, I realized I was trying to convince myself I wanted to do it because it’d make a great blogging journey over the next few months. Giving people a reason to check in each week. Plus, I consider myself a runner so running a marathon seemed like the thing to do. Except it wasn’t.

Training for a marathon to further my business wasn’t going to motivate me enough to be able to push through the hurt on a seventeen mile training run. It’s not enough to make me get up at 3 am on Sunday before church to hit the pavement in the rain. To train for a marathon you need to feel in down deep in your soul and right at this moment I don’t have that motivation. It’s simply not the time for me. I know I’ll do another one in the future, but not this November. That doesn’t make me less of a runner. There’s no document out there that says you’re only a true runner if you can hit the 26.2 mark. Running is a feeling, an experience, a thrill.

So for right now I’m going to try to reconnect with that. To run for the pure joy of running. I’d love to improve my speed and get better at sprints. There’s a lot I have to work on and length doesn’t have to be one of them. And that to me was very freeing. It released me from feeling like running was a job, and instead turned it back into something I do because I feel like doing it.

More Lessons from a rocking spin class, and my fitness direction for the rest of the year

I still consider myself a runner, but I’m also way more than that and the fitness world is filled to the brim with amazing classes and activities I want to try. So the rest of this year I’m all about experiencing any and all fun workouts! Bring it on! If you have an activity or class you feel I should add to the list let me know in the comments! As always I’ll have my workouts on BOD as home base, but instead of going out for drinks or dinners as often with friends I’d much rather experience something together and burn calories in the process.

Spinning has been on my list for awhile. I tried a spinning class at the local Y a few years ago, and it was a giant yawn fest. I had seen all the clips of black light spin classes with rocking music and amazing vibes, and was totally disappointed walking out of my first spin experience. Since then a local spin shop opened called The Union.Ā It’s been all over social media as the place to take a spin class. (Follow their IG account here!) When I found out the first class was free I called up my ever adventurous workout buddy Christine again and said let’s try it out!

The Union, spin class,

Pretty sure five minutes into the class we looked at each other and exchanged glances that said “This is the bomb, we are so coming back!!!!Ā Our instructorĀ Chelsea was extremely sweet. She helped us get all settled in on the bikes and totally rocked the class. Her vibe was awesome. We rode hard and fast for 50 intense and amazing minutes. Christine and I decided we’ll make it a goal to get into a class at least once every two weeks. I’m siked!!!!

In conclusion

I’m going to try to experience as much fitness fun as possible all over Spokane for the rest of the year. I’m excited to meet new friends, attempt new things, and push the limits of my fitness. What will I discover? I can’t wait to find out!

Eryn Whalen

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13 Comments

  1. A marathon! Good for you!! That’s so awesome. Running isn’t really my thing, but I just recently began jogging (I’m three months postpartum). I was slower than a turtle in mud, but I actually enjoyed it! Here’s to new things!

  2. I don’t run. Ever. But I always watch runners and wish I could do the same while I’m out walking. With that in mind, your perseverance is really inspiring. And on the days where you feel defeated, remember that even at your slowest, you’re lapping someone on the couch.

  3. Yes! You have to enjoy your workout if you want to stick to it! I agree about growing a business sucking up every spare minute – I have to give myself permission to read for pleasure! It’s good to get a mental break every now and then.

  4. The spin class sounds like lots of fun and very different from the norm. You might have to take me with you next time?! Love all the photos of your achievements. You go girl!!

  5. That’s great motivation for anyone who is experiencing mental fatigue..or needs to know that everyone experiences it now and then. You are doing a great job with your blog as well and it is hard to juggle everything all at once but you are doing it. Keep up the good work.

  6. Spin classes are so hard but so much fun! And I would love to run a half marathon someday. I also agree with you that you need to figure out your reason why or else you’re going to struggle so much more.

  7. I also love running! I’m far from running a marathon though, what a great achievement! But I agree sometimes mental fatigue forces you to take a bit of a break or try out something different.

  8. I think this is amazing. So much of exercise is truly in your head and I think once you realized that you could get out of your head! Girl, I can’t even run longer than 10 seconds on the treadmill. Running is so not my thing so I think you’re amazing regardless! You do whatever feels right to you!

  9. I have such admiration for runners! I wish I could do it…I fractured my knee cap years ago, and my knee takes a beating every time I try! But good for you!

  10. Thanks for sharing. Having fun while working out is important. It’s supposed to help refresh our mind and spirit- not deplete it.
    Glad you are taking the fun approach to fitness ???
    I also ran the Rockn Roll marathon in 2016. That was an amazing experience but I’m not in a place to tackle that challenge again , yet.

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