Listen to the Ali on the Run Show!
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Let’s Talk About Sweat & Stress
Before I get into the few things I have to say this morning, I need to start this post with an urgent question:
Ladies and gentlemen, how the heck do you survive in the summer without being a sweaty mess?
I’m not kidding. Answer me, because I need to know.
The high in NYC today is 95 degrees, which is fine since I’ll be sitting in my air condtioned office all day.
But on the commute this morning — most of which happens by foot, and I am not a slow walker because I suffer from a severe case of Sidewalk Rage — I managed to arrive at my subway station with that sexy little hairline sweat thing going on. Don’t even get me started on upper lip sweat, because there’s no way for me to talk about that without grossing everyone out. I’ll spare you the details.
Seriously though. This is what I looked like when I got to the office this morning:
OK I lied. That’s what I looked like after a delightful 5.25 mile run this morning.
But you get the point. I love sweating. Put me in a sports bra and sneakers and I will show you what a good sweat looks like.
I just don’t like doing it after I’ve showered and am on my way to interact with people all day.
Life is good.
Let me take you back in time…
Last night, after a nice little spin class at the gym — a place where sweating is not only appropriate, it’s highly encouraged — I met a college friend in Bryant Park.
We hadn’t seen each other in two years. That’s insane. So needless to say we had a lot to catch up on.
I got home around 9 pm and went into panic attack mode. I looked over my three To Do list (there’s no need for three, and I don’t know why I don’t just consolidate them — it makes no sense) and started to freak out.
It’s safe to say I’m spread a little thin these days, but we can talk about that another day. I stressed out and, as I let myself dwell on that, I felt my stomach go into attack mode. It wasn’t my best evening. Though, for once, I didn’t call any loved ones and yell at them. Instead, I picked a few items on my list(s), got them done, and made it to bed around 11.
This morning my stomach wasn’t feeling totally settled, but it did feel OK enough for the 5-mile Bridle Path run Coach Cane prescribed for me.
Yes, prescribed. The medicine my doctors put me on doesn’t seem to help, but running does, thus it isn’t just a training plan, it’s a prescription.
Central Park was hot and sunny and filled with people. Excellent, as always.
People are getting more naked by the day…
…and I’m the major creep who takes photos of them. I feel like that’s probably illegal or something.
Photos you will never see/things that will never happen: Ali running in just a sports bra. No way.
My run was fine. I maintained a slow pace, per Coach Cane’s orders.
Part of my freak-out last night had to do with the fact that I feel like, no matter how closely I follow the instructions from Coach Cane, I haven’t reached my full running potential. I know I can be a fast runner, and I know that my stomach has been a major struggle and setback for me lately. I even wrote a post last night about my constant running anxiety, especially during race weeks.
But I also know I still have a lot to learn.
Yesterday, for example, Coach Cane wanted me to run 5 miles, including a few striders (20–30 second sprints) each mile. In my mind this translated to “Run as fast as you can for 5 miles, and every now and then try to run even faster.”
So that’s what I did, and I was really excited about my splits.
My trusty coach wasn’t quite so impressed. Care for a few Coach Cane-isms to start your day?
- “I don’t want you to leave your best effort in the park in training when you have a race this weekend.”
- “Averaging 8:00/mile for 5.5 when you’re supposed to be going easy is undermining your overall effort. I have friends and athletes I coach who run sub 3:00 marathons who do slower easy runs than that.”
- “Go SLOW on Thursday. Go fast on Saturday. Get your PR and then we’ll move on from there.”
He’s the best. The email chain ended, but I couldn’t help but smile when I woke up to one last confidence-boosting email from Coach Cane this morning:
“Seriously — you have a season of PR’s and a strong marathon ahead. Try not to stress over this stuff. The stress doesn’t help your efforts. I’ll worry and you’ll run.”
I <3 my coach. And if I don’t PR on Saturday, I’m going to be really afraid to tell him…
In the meantime, I am wearing an orange dress. That’s not relevant to anything I just said, but maybe you were wondering about it anyway.
Also being worn today: a blingy ring.
Please don’t judge my sausage fingers. Yes, I once dated a guy who referred to them as “tiny sausages.” Our relationship didn’t work out, but I don’t think it was because of my chubby hands.
TELL ME: We could use this as an opportunity to talk about sweat, which is fine. But what I really want is your best de-stressing advice. And don’t say “I go for a run when I’m stressed,” because I’m already doing that and that’s an easy answer. Give me something exciting and original, like “I do shots of tequila when I’m stressed” or “I go on Facebook and defriend a dozen people so my life feels less cluttered.” Those are the tricks I’m looking for, so bring ’em on!