It’s Tuesday, and I haven’t run in 8 days now. At the end of last week and over the weekend, I was in Seattle for a conference. And, since I’ve been back, I’ve had to:

  • Readjust to the three-hour time difference between the west and east coasts, a.k.a. force myself into bed at night and out of bed in the morning
  • Diligently attend to EVERY little thing I consume in order to stay on track with my diet cleanse
  • Cook from the diet cleanse cookbook most every day - and clean up a messy kitchen afterward – so that I don’t starve after surviving most of the day on raw vegetables and a handful of pills alone:
Holy pill popper, Batman!

Holy pill popper, Batman!

  • Start checking off items on my latest ‘to do’ list, including some very time-sensitive items, which has by far surpassed the size of a Post-it note - my typical ‘to do’ list size preference:
And there's a grocery list - for my diet cleanse - on the back

Post-it note AND THEN some! Plus my diet cleanse grocery list on the back. . .

  • Do at least one load of laundry – which has crossed my mind at least three times so far this evening yet remains untouched
  • Prepare for my trip to San Francisco for my final conference of the spring this upcoming weekend
  • Finish a paper for work – a paper I wanted done over a month ago now – before I fly out on Friday afternoon.

If I haven’t already painted you a vivid picture, I’ll just say this – I’ve got a LOT to do!

Seriously, how do parents do it? And even married couples without children?! If I ever do get married, he’s gonna have to be one very self-sufficient fella. I fly by the seat of my pants on a daily, in a seemingly eternal disheveled hot mess of a rush, and barely manage to take care of myself!

Given that I was out of town last weekend, will be out of town this weekend, and officially start training for the Pikes Peak Marathon – marking my first ever marathon attempt – next week, I decided to grant myself a ‘bye week’ to get a handle on things. And, I’ve somewhat surprisingly been able to do it so far without an ounce of guilt.

I’m not old, but I’m old enough to have learned a few things in my day, one of which has proven invaluable: CHILLAX.

Sure, it’s not ideal to be away from running this much. Still, I know I can definitely handle my first few weeks of training no problem. In fact, I’ve been running more miles and higher milage long runs than they require for at least the past few weeks. Chillax, Mel. You’ve got this.

As I mentioned, several things on my latest ‘to do’ list are time sensitive. Many of them also require others’ carving time out of their schedules in order for me to check them off the list. I’d say that makes them a priority. Chillax, Mel. This is more important right now.

OK, maybe I didn’t pick the ideal time to start a labor- and often consequently time-intensive diet cleanse. For something like this, though, there really never is an “ideal” time. Chillax, Mel. You’ve done this before, remember? You know exactly what to do. And, more importantly, you know the time and effort will pay off.

When life gets hectic, don’t fret. Chillax. Or, as I recently cited as my mantra for the day via my Facebook page, “Keep calm and marathon on.” No matter how you say it, say it as you take in and momentarily hold a big breath with closed eyes before breathing out the stressors induced by your own ‘to do’ lists.

And, if working on that list means having to take a few days away from running, that’s OK. You, are indeed, after all, a RUNNER and will get back to it. Until then, rest easy knowing that your shoes, watch, and favorite route will be waiting. Just chillax.

Melissa Mincic, Ph.D., studies child development at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a long-time road and trail runner. Follow Melissa on Twitter at @nerdinrunshoes.

2 thoughts on “Just CHILLAX

  1. I hear ya! The end of the school-year is always ultra-hectic for me, and changing jobs and moving trumps that (you). I look to my feet:, two blisters, one black-and-blue toe-nail; and am thankful…blissful,that that’s the worst of my problems. Try that.

  2. Great point! I am definitely grateful that I can run, period. My diet cleanse, my move, my new job are all very good things that will lead to even better things. I am grateful for these and for my next run – whenever it is!

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