Sunday, August 13, 2006

My weekend, and burnout prevention

I just had one of the best Sundays in a long time--because I had nothing planned. Well, I guess I had three things I wanted to do: laundry, clean the bathroom, and run 10 miles. And I did all three. I also was able to catch up with a Project Runway marathon, preparing for my run by eating leftover pepperoni from Tanya's baby shower.

I had a baby-filled weekend. My book group trip up to Westchester county was so wonderful. A 9-month baby to play with--I love that sturdy baby age, when their head no longer lolls around, when you don't feel like you're going to damage them by holding them. We talked about the book, of course, and our usual publishing gossip, and another thing we talked about was the possibility of burnout in our careers. Many of us were on the brink. The past few weeks have been extremely stressful, but I don't feel like I'm quite there--and I know that Sundays like this help prevent burnout. I overextend myself, I know. I want to go out, have fun, plan wedding showers and baby showers for my friends, read manuscript for all my coworkers, go to conferences, travel to visit friends, entertain friends and family in NY, run marathons, be in multiple book groups...it's part of the reason one of my New Year's resolutions was: Take more time for myself, don't over schedule, have at least one free night each week.

I don't know if I've quite fulfilled that resolution, so I should be more vigilant about it. Because unscheduled days like this go a long way in preventing burnout. I need to not think about work, not do any work.

Saturday was the baby shower--the mother-to-be managed to get up all 6 flights of stairs, and it was a lovely time. Antonella had her baby with her--about three-months-old, so not quite at the really sturdy stage, but getting there. So sweet. Great food--too much food. Food of our childhoods. Mini burgers, ants on a log, Flavorice, cupcakes decorated with umbrellas, Pringles, and more. In keeping with the theme, we played "stick the pacifier on the baby." Too bad there wasn't room to play musical chairs. It was a beautiful day, so we chilled on the terrace afterwards. Perfect, perfect, perfect weather.

And then today. I slept in, puttered around, posted the Blue Rose Girls' Question of the Week, and then did all the rest. I wasn't feeling too hot health-wise--have had a scratchy throat since Friday morning and was congested and sneezing all day Saturday, but my Rose told me that even when she's feeling under the weather, she finds that once she starts running she forgets about it, so I decided to run any way, and I'm glad I did.

It's funny--part of my motivation for making the whole 10 miles was that I knew I could write it in my blog. At the conference I talked to a few people about running marathons, and running in general, and one thing we agreed on is the attraction to the sport in that it's uniquely measurable. Nobody can take away the fact that I've run 10 miles. When I started running in college, I had never run even one mile without stopping, and because of this I was so proud at each milestone. On the way back from the track, I would stop in my floormates room and announce how far I'd run. After a few weeks of this, my friend said in an annoyed tone, "Why do you always announce how far you ran?" and I realized that it was a motivating factor for me, I was proud of my progress and wanted to announce it.

So, this blog is good for something, I guess. I RAN 10 MILES TODAY! There. Next week, I plan to run 11 miles, the most I've ever run. And then the half marathon is in two weeks. I'm feeling good about it. But I'm not going to overdo the training--don't want to burn out before November.

2 comments:

Lizzy said...

I have run one marathon. It was the second hardest physical thing I've done. (Labor/childbirth is worse! But I didn't know it at the time of the marathon.) While running, I tried to think of it as a survival experiment.

10 miles--good for you!

Sascha said...

Ten miles is admirable. I've done a few 10k's and a half is on my list next. I find the measurability aspect most rewarding, too! If my whole day ends up shot from whatever craziness/life came up, but I managed my morning 5k, I feel like I still stayed on track. I'm almost afraid to do the marathon because then I'd have done it. And then what is there to look ahead to? I'm afraid I'd quit running! And it's so good for clearing the brain.

Ten miles, wow. I'm with lizzy- good for you!