Saturday, February 09, 2008

Why I run..

It was bound to happen.. Let's rewind. Ever since my daughter was 1, I've worked on and off on various studies and freelance projects. Sometimes I did no work for a while, sometimes I had a lot of work on. When I was offered a "proper" job this November - still freelance but in an office, with office hours, I was initially very reluctant to give up what I had. However, I started and found I really enjoyed what I was doing. In the course of the 2 and a half months that I have been in this job I have learned more about my remit and my abilities. In the past few weeks, however, I have begun to feel very overextended. You know when your to-do list is so long that you just can't see how you're ever going to get to the bottom of it? And so much of it needs dealing with "straight away"? So, I've been letting work creep into home life, I've been working Fridays (which was not part of my original arrangement) to just stay on top. Not great but hopefully temporary. All these years out of an office, however, and I had forgotten something. Politics. Office politics. I forgot about office politics until I stepped right in the middle of a big smelly issue. And of course, I didn't realise what was happening until it was too late. I did not have a good day in the office yesterday. I am not proud of it but I felt so awful, so hurt, so upset by it all that I closed my blind, closed my door and cried. I then rang my husband. He was wonderful. His support and love for me is 100% and, times like yesterday remind me how wonderful this best friend of mine in life is. And he told me to get my tears out and then to get tough. And I did. No-one else saw me cry - in the sad world of office politics, that would have been a strike against me - and then I took action. And then I went and picked my children up from school (and for once the tiredness and bickering was wonderful - at least it was out there) and then I went home and ran a long run. 12 miles. I was intending to do 15 but I ran the last hour or so in the dark and tripped twice at the end (it gets very dark on the farm and my headlight has a small beam) and I decided it was enough for the day.

I ran and I ran. I got all my tears out and then all my anger out. I was reminded of how powerful the feeling of being wronged is and to show more understanding to my children when they feel it. I ranted, I raved and then I settled into my run. 5M of podrunner and then I settled into podcasts - Steve Runner, Nik and Dan, the other runner, Dr Monte - and got calm. By the time I came back in I was ready for my friday night and my weekend. No work today, or tomorrow. It can all wait till Monday.

My knee... however. While it was fine on my run - I felt it but nothing bad, and all last week I distinctly felt an improvement - it's sore today. I was going to head out for 7 but I think I'm going to listen to my doctor (for once) and give it a rest today. See where I am tomorrow. Where that leaves me I'm not quite sure. I am meant to be doing 17 by the end of this week - we shall see. I think I will see if I can fit in a visit to my osteopath this week..

Run long my friends, and strong, and see you in Chicago this October?

11 comments:

Susan said...

As always, I am very, very impressed with my friend Petra! Sounds to me like you handled the work situation with grace and dignity. 100%!

Not running has immediately shown me some things about the rest of my life, meaning that running left me "on high" for most of the time. So now that I am not running, I have the "time" to contemplate all things life. Eek! Not always good! Making changes.

peter said...

A 12-mile run after a hard day at the office, it puts it all in perspective. What's really important in life? Yourself (and those around you) and you take care of yourself by giving yourself time and staying fit. Those are the runs you remember.

lizzie lee said...

Petra. Run is one of your greatest motivators and a wonderful way to vent your frustrations. Keep that attitude and nobody could stop you.

Reading your post made me envious. I just wanted to get out and run those 12 miles, but I have been really on and off. Got a terrible cold that has had me mostly in bed for a week.

Remember when you see your husband and your children that there's no politics there. There's only love.

ShirleyPerly said...

Indeed, office politics is something I do not miss at all working from home. I'm glad you were able to find an outlet and some perspective. Great to hear your knee seems to be improving!

christian said...

don't you wish you could approach everything, everyday, in the same way you do mentally during a run?

sometimes people say we're addicted, and sometimes I agree.

running is an escape -- much like a drug -- but the difference is that the aftermath of a run tends to be positive ...as opposed to drugs or alcohol which seem to leave destruction in their wakes.

good for you. your post is a strong reminder that we can't run AWAY from our problems - but we can run to help us deal with, and figure out, our problems with a stronger mind and body.

cheers!

Kevin said...

Petra, having worked in a large company now for almost 30 years, I know what you mean about the office politics. But it doesn’t sound like it took you very long to realize just where all that “crap” rates when bounced up against family. You hang in there dear. HUG

PS.. you rang WHO? Your husband? Oops… Maybe I shouldn’t have asked you to marry me! ;-)

CewTwo said...

Petra, you amaze me. Running is like taking a visit to the land of OZ. The difference is that you realize that you are the wizard. I contemplate my troubles in two ways. I sleep on it, then run on it in the morning! Running is a wonderful way to clear the head and to feel invigorated!

Good for you!

By the way, I enjoy the last 2 hours of my workday the best of any other time. Why? I am in this large office building all by myself. It is SO quiet and I get lots of stuff done! Also, the politics (for the time that I am there) are all mine!

Hang in there, my friend!

Adam Tinkoff said...

Adversity is always a life lesson. I don't think you missed the big "ah ha". Every challenge is a gift - even the ones that smell like rhino poop.

jen said...

Great post. I can completely relate to your frusteration and the relief you got from that run. I love your insight here: "I was reminded of how powerful the feeling of being wronged is and to show more understanding to my children when they feel it."

Very well said. Hope you are having a better week at work and your knee is feeling ok. :)

Drusy said...

Petra, I'm really impressed that you can manage a challenging stressful job, small kids AND marathon training.. now with potential injury adding spice. You're one very committed lady (and should be committed, naw). But it sounds like the running and your family keeps you sane. 9 weeks gulp!!

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