You know that feeling when you take a big bite out of something, either out of not paying attention or a miss calculation of sorts you begin to chew and it's so uncomfortable and you have the option of either spitting out and trying again or committing and chewing for what seems like an eternity. The literal sensation of biting off more than you can chew is fairly unpleasant, which is what makes it such a good metaphor for taking too much on in any arena.
Running wise I am in a maintenance period -- I try to run four or five times a week without any specific emphasis on distance or speed. I've been biking to work almost every day and started a semi-regular yoga practice. I want to go into marathon training season strong, well rounded, and healthy, and so far I am on track to do just that.
So where does the overwhelm come in? Why the feeling of spit or commit?
I am making and going through some pretty major changes, the kind that touch every aspect of life and dredge up the yuck at the bottom of the pond, I was quite happy with it remaining dormant! Well, yes, not quite -- I feel good about where I am but it's hard and I have to take things day by day, hour by hour. I rely heavily on running and physical activity to get me through. When things start to feel overwhelming I focus on those things I can control and sometimes it just feels altogether too much. I am working on collecting recipes and mapping out a better nutrition program for training, and I find myself getting all tangled up and lost in the process -- I am learning a lot but I put so much pressure on myself -- I want everything to be perfect.
Just like in running, building gradually and staying relaxed are key, I am trying to keep things in perspective, but it's hard sometimes. When I'm out of my comfort zone I tend to stiffen, to speed up and this carries over into my emotional life as well. Slow and steady, one training run at a time, and little bites, this is what will get me through. Faith in the process.