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Running Is My Therapy – Geek Turned Athlete

Running Is My Therapy

So, I totally meant to have this post ready by last night, but I passed out on the couch right after dinner with Kai only to wake up in a pool of my own drool an hour later. It was time to go to bed.

I swapped my usual run with my running team on Saturday with a run with my triathlon team on Sunday this weekend. I was sick for the kick-off party and needed to get the deets on the upcoming training for the triathlon season.

It started off well, well…not really. I was late because I got lost (driving around in a huge circle a few times), but ended up having enough time to throw my purse in the coach’s house, take pictures with everyone without introducing myself, and start running. I didn’t know anyone except for the coach and his wife. There were about 16(?) people who started out on the run.

A lot of the people in the group started off walking. This was really different from my running team. I didn’t feel like walking so I ran up front and fell behind 4 hardcore guys in the very front that also included the coach. The first mile was great, but then my pb and jelly english muffin that I had eaten just 45 minutes prior was starting to make its way back out of my stomach. I wish I was one of those people who can eat and run right after. I wish I was also one of those people who don’t need to eat before a run. I’m not either of those, and my stomach is VERY sensitive. I have to wait at least an hour after eating to run otherwise I puke.

Which is what happened next. I’m just kidding. :) But I was lucky I didn’t since it has happened before. I stayed and chatted with the boys for a couple of miles, then decided it was probably a good idea to slow down just a tad before I actually did puke. Plus, my goal was to run 9 miles, and I didn’t think I could make it running at that pace. We said our goodbyes, and I decreased my pace just a tad. I didn’t see anyone behind me. I didn’t bring my ipod because I was expecting to be talking to someone during the run.

Well, this sucks. I have to run 9 miles with no music nor people to talk to. I guess it is good race practice, right? Right. 😉

Alone on a trail with just me, my thoughts, and my breath. It was actually nice. I had lots of time to work through some of my frustrations going on in my life.

Let’s be honest here. I’ve been feeling inadequate lately with the whole job search thing. It has been 2 1/2 months since I have graduated with my masters, and I still don’t have a job let alone any interviews. And no, I don’t count my spin instructor job. The job opportunities around Spokane have been very minimal in my career field. Without going into detail about my fervent job searching and massive resume/letter of interest submitting, just know that I have worked very hard at this. In fact, I have never worked this hard for a job in my life and to not even yield an interview? Ack. It kills me. Granted most of the companies that I have applied for have had no positions available, but still. It is frustrating. I’m trying to be positive but I feel just a little beat down. And bored. And like a loser. And like a slacker who isn’t contributing financially to my household. And like I’m not using my skills/education. And, and, and, and the list goes on.

I know that I am very lucky for everyone/everything I have in my life. The hubs and I are very fortunate that I don’t need to get a job just to make ends meet. Yes, we would love to do some extra stuff with the house and travel more, but we aren’t struggling by any means. The hubs also doesn’t hound me about what I do all day when he is at work. He knows I’m working hard to find a job. Again, it is just frustrating because I so want to work in my career field!!

Getting back to the run, all these negative thoughts were swirling through my head. My pace picked up a little which in turn sped up my breathing. Tears started coming down my cheeks. I ran faster. All of the sudden, I was sobbing taking huge breaths. This lasted a mile. As quickly as it started, my little cry was done. I reminded myself that the networking meeting I had last week with the president of a company here in Spokane was a good thing, and her tips and contacts that she provided were very helpful and hopefully fruitful in the end. I need to stop trying to be the “overachiever” all the time. I set these unachievable expectations for myself that are not based on anything but unrealistic crazy notions. The unrealistic goal: get a job in a month.  Stupid, huh? :)  I need to keep working hard and be patient.

Since I ran by myself on a trail, nobody saw my little “frustration release,” and I arrived at the coach’s house for pancakes feeling like a new optimistic woman. That is why I love running so much. It is like a FREE therapy session.

Back at the house, I picked up my new year triathlon kit containing a long sleeve moisture wicking shirt, cycling jersey, MAX magazine, Team Blaze stickers/fake tattoos, another water bottle…


And transition towel which I discovered out in the backyard after I took the pic above. Apparently, Kai thought it was his.


It also included a list of all the races in the area for the next few months!!


Why, yes I do!

Hopefully, I’m running with the Swifts tonight (fighting the beginnings of a migraine right now) for a speed workout. The ultimate therapy session!!

I’ll leave you will some pics of Kai and I at the dog park earlier today.

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He was tired afterwards!! I think Kai got out some pent up energy from having to wait to get his neutering stitches out!!


Do you ever use running (or any other type of workout) as your therapy?

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Jess March 22, 2011, 2:30 pm

    I loved reading this – not because you talked about crying while you ran, but because you were so honest about how you’re feeling about the whole unemployed thing and how important running has become as your “therapy.” I totally know what you mean – there is just something so freeing about running with nothing but the sounds of your feet hitting the pavement for you to become one with your thoughts. And if tears are shed as part of that? So be it! My husband has been unemployed since last May and has just now realized his true passion is teaching and it’s been so freeing for him to openly pursue a passion vs. just stumbling into another job that didn’t truly fulfill him. I know how frustrating the job hunt can be…all I can say is hang in there, it will happen and thankfully you have a super supportive husband along the way! Makes such a difference.
    Jess recently posted..Notsicknotsicknotsick…Sick

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 22, 2011, 2:34 pm

    Love this!

    Dude, I always wake up in my own drool. No shame 😉
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Let’s Talk Hydration

  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes March 22, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I’ve had several bursts of emotion while out running, sometimes tears, sometimes laughing. I must look like a total crazy.
    It’s good for us, everybody needs a way or two to release. :)

    Oh, and ditto on the drool. lol
    Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes recently posted..Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

  • Lisa March 22, 2011, 3:06 pm

    Running was TOTALLY my therapy. I’d run when I was upset or angry and needed to blow of steam. It worked miracles. Then I got injured. No other activities really gave me that same outlet while I rehabbed. :(

  • Erica March 22, 2011, 4:21 pm

    oh heck yes! Working out in general is my therapy! I feel MUCH better after a good workout. I’m sorry to hear about the job frustrations. I hope that something turns up for you soon- it would be WELL deserved!
    Erica recently posted..M- Mini Chicken Pot Pies

  • lindsay March 22, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Oh i’ve been there. Running is such a great release for your emotions. heart and soul go into it! I wish I could have run with you and talked. You will find a job, I just know it. Keep those runs going strong and emotional!!
    lindsay recently posted..A Successful Runner……

  • Katy March 22, 2011, 7:09 pm

    I don’t want to say that I’m sorry you cried — because you certainly earned it! And, since I’m a regular running-while-crying-and-wiping-boogers-with-my-tech-shirt kind of girl, I can sympathize.

    I *am* sorry that you’re struggling with the job search…but I hope that by putting this out there in the universe, the power of attraction goes into hyperdrive.

    YOU HEAR THAT, UNIVERSE???? (((glances from side to side)))

  • Mackenzie March 22, 2011, 8:12 pm

    I know *exactly* how you feel. After I graduated and moved to San Diego with my fiance, I was unemployed for 4 months. It absolutely killed me. I finally got a VERY low level position in a field that has nothing to do with my career. I have since been promoted two times, but I’m absolutely miserable because I’m working 40+ hours a week doing something I truly hate, and I had to give up my unpaid scientific pursuits to do that (including working with bonobos at the zoo!). Why am I telling you this? Because I don’t think you should settle for something that isn’t your passion. Don’t devote 280+ hours of work to something that means nothing to you. Don’t let your hard work in college go to waste. Wait for the right opportunity and definitely keep working towards it, but don’t settle just for the money. I know that in this job market that isn’t necessarily the easiest option, but if you can avoid settling, do it!

  • Sarah for Real March 22, 2011, 8:35 pm

    How frustrating! I’m sorry Spokane is failing you in the job market :( Everyone keeps talking about how work is slowly picking up around here though, hopefully you’ll find something soon!

  • Lauren March 22, 2011, 9:52 pm

    Running used to be my greatest form of therapy until an injury reared its ugly head. These days I rely on hours on my bike, which has quickly become my new favorite form of exercise AND therapy time. Win! :)

  • Kara March 23, 2011, 4:53 am

    I love this post! Like you, I wake up in a puddle of drool and I also have had a very hard time finding work in my field after getting my master’s. Right now I stay home with the baby so I don’t have to worry too much about it, but when I do want to go back to work, then I have to find a hard to get job with little to no experience….wheeeee!
    Kara recently posted..Wednesday Confessions

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me March 23, 2011, 7:14 am

    I love doing cardio boxing when I’m really mad. Gets out a ton of frustration and I can just envision that person’s face! lol jk….kinda.
    Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me recently posted..Fish Tacos!

  • Beth March 23, 2011, 5:25 pm

    Absolutely running is therapy. Sometimes I refuse to run with anyone else and go on a nice long run by myself to work out whatever is going on. Sorry your job hunt is so frustrating, but you seem to have a lot of things going for you aside from the work. Enjoy the open days, puppy time and training without interruptions while it lasts!
    Beth recently posted..Allergy Day

    • Nicole March 23, 2011, 5:36 pm

      I know! That is what everyone has been telling me. I need to just enjoy what I have going on right now. 😉

  • Leila @ Spinach and Skittles March 26, 2011, 10:16 am

    Sometimes you just need a good cry – I always feel better afterward :)
    I know I saw it somewhere, but what market are you trying to get into? Never hurts to have one more ear out there hearing about openings!
    And I feel your pain. When my hubs graduated from Law school we moved to San Diego. I was unemployed for 4 months, and wound up waiting tables until I found a temp job. It was pretty miserable, but I never gave up hope! And then after graduating with my Masters this summer I filled out 118 applications and nearly gave myself carpal tunnel! I kept a running rejection percentage on my facebook feed for therapy. And I tore apart rejection letters, editing their grammar/spelling mistakes, just to make myself feel better. LOL, unconventional, but it helped!
    Leila @ Spinach and Skittles recently posted..Friday- Friday- gettin’ down on Friday

  • Janene @ OneRun March 26, 2011, 2:12 pm

    OH Sister, do I HEAR ya!! I’m also about 2.5 months out of my Masters degrees with no job to speak of yet. Well, I guess I do kinda have a job on the horizon – i may be taking a seasonal position that will definitely be a boost to my experience and resume, but the overachiever in me (2 Masters degrees, anyone?) feels kinda silly having worked my butt off for 2 years for a seasonal job.

    Anyway, enough about me – keep your chin up and know that you haven’t found a job yet because an amazing one is out there waiting for you to find it and make it yours – that’s what I keep telling myself, and *most of the time!* I honestly believe it to be true!

    Yay for job search buddies! 😉
    Janene @ OneRun recently posted..8 More Under My Belt

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston March 26, 2011, 7:59 pm

    This is a great post and I know EXACTLY what you are going through. I’m newish to your blog, so I hope you don’t mind my asking what your masters is in?

    • Nicole March 27, 2011, 10:51 am

      Welcome!! Environmental Science. 😉


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