Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hitting the Wall

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, I have been in quite the funk lately.  I don't think that will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well.  Between recovering from my surgery, managing the stress of potential (but yet to be announced) changes at work, and most of all, studying for the CFA, it's been a tough couple of months for me.

There is this concept of "hitting a wall" when you run a marathon - it usually happens around mile 20.  The physiological explanation is that your body runs out of glycogen and has to burn fat (which is an extremely inefficient source of energy) to keep you going.  Your legs feel heavy and you just kind of want the race to be over.  But most runners don't quit.  They power through because, dangit, you've ran 20 miles.  You can do 6.2.

The last month, I have hit a metaphorical wall when it comes to studying.  I am exhausted.  I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and after June 2nd, I'll get my free time back, but right now I am worn out and stressed out.

But this is where past marathon training experiences come into play and help give me perspective.  I think back on the two marathons I've ran and remember times when I felt defeated.  Beat up.  Tired.  But I pushed through those walls I hit in the past, just as I am pushing through the wall I have hit lately.

This is not intended to be a "woe is me, I want your sympathy" post.  I know I signed up for this - no one forced me to pursue the CFA designation.  This is me saying - it is really freaking hard, and I am really tired.  And I have a short fuse.  And I hate it when people ask what is new because the only response I can come up with is whatever section of the CFA books I am tackling that week.  And gah - I don't really like the person I am most days because I am so moody and over-sensitive and prone to tears.  

But this too shall pass.  I know this.  This funk I am in is situational and temporary.  And it's already starting to get a little better, thanks to the nice weather we've had lately.  I know that the clouds will part on June 2nd and I'll fall back in love with my life in Minneapolis, just like I did last year.  In the mean time, I'm trying to stay focused and positive.

27 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

I won't give my sympathy since you said not to haha, but I will say I could never do this and you are very tough for doing it. I also couldn't run a marathon so that is me in a nutshell :)

I think Amber once wrote a post about how she was okay with being super super busy for awhile if she could see a light at the end of the tunnel. I agree with her but I think when I think of it I mean like a month- this is a really, really long time of studying and so it's natural for you to have some highs and many lows during it.

When people say whats new you should tell them about your great weekend last weekend :)

abbi said...

June 2nd - not too far away. I can only imagine what it is like. I would have to take breaks from time to time just to refresh or I'd get into a major funk as well.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I'd schedule a full day off - no studying, no work, just a day to recover. Then go back at it fresh!
I know what you mean about stress at work - we had a lot of staffing changes this month (read: firing) and everyone was anxious until the new schedules came out. Unfortunately we laid of some of my classmates ;(

B and B said...

Hang in there! I know how exhausting the rigorous routine is. How much longer can this work drama be prolonged? Unbelievable!!!!

missris said...

Can I just say again how impressed I am that you have pursued this goal with such determination? Seriously, I don't think I've ever worked that hard for something and you should be SO PROUD of yourself. Baller. I'm really excited for you for June 2!

Amber @ A little pink in the cornfields said...

Hang in there. Try to stay positive. I know it get's mundane but you have a TON of exciting things coming up this year and when people ask what's new, maybe try to jump to those events? Or talk about trying to decide what marathon to run?

You're doing great and June 2 will be here and done in no time!

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Lisa, I read your post, which totally makes me feel for you, but what I want to comment on is the comments. As Kelly and Amber said, I agree that when people ask what you are up to, you should talk about your weekend, your last run, or the several weddings you are going to attend this year (and travel for! hurray) Not only that, but I am sure that as soon as the exam is over, you are going to go to all kinds of outdoor, fun activities in the city and with your family (remember the lake house!) Keep those in mind.

As Grace says, you should schedule a full day off. You are being to hard on yourself. If you have a whole day off on Saturday, you can study a little more on Sunday. I think it would benefit you, give you some time to regroup. You are comparing this to a marathon, but I see it as marathon TRAINING, and we all need at least one rest day a week or you know what happens!

And I just think its funny that Ris called you a Baller. Who does she think she is, Lil Troy? Or maybe it's Lil Ris? That's actually a pretty good rapper name. :)

Abby said...

What an accurate metaphor! I was going to say "great" -- but there's really nothing "great" or "Fun" about that feeling ;)

And I do try my hardest to not say "what's new" when checking up on you, as I know you've been studying like a madwoman. I know how touchy of a question that is.

Hang in there...the light is at the end of the tunnel. At least the weather is a little better, so many some of your studying can be done sitting outside at a coffee shop? Vitamin D is your friend!

Leigh said...

All I have to say today is that I am sending you a big hug! Sometimes those make the difference :)

Carolina John said...

There always comes a time when you have to push through something that is difficult, and that makes you really appreciate the finished product and the easier, fun times. Push through this and you won't regret it.

Nora said...

Perfectly acceptable to be in a funk. You have had so much go on and happen in the last few months! I definitely admire you for sticking to it. I can only imagine how tough it is right now. Here for you!

pinkflipflops said...

((()) I verbally vomited on my husband the other night and for once in our 9 year relationship he said exactly what I needed. I'm sorry you're having a bad day, want a beer? ;) So, to you I'm saying, "Sorry, you're having a rough time, have a margarita!!"

Stephany said...

I want to second what Gracie said: schedule a full day off from studying or work. Schedule a massage or hair appointment or ANYTHING FUN. Sometimes that's the best way to refresh and rejuvenate you to get back at it.

This is a tough time for you and honestly, I don't know how you do it! But June 2nd is right around the corner. We're almost in April already! And then you can focus on all the fun coming up.

Thinking of you!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I know you'll get through this, because you got through it last year. I know you didn't expect to get in such a funk this year but I think it's natural for what you're going through. Didn't one of your friends comment that her SO looks back on his CFA studying time and just sees a big cloud of doom or something?

I agree with a few other commenters that if you can you should schedule a full day off of work and studying in the next little while! You deserve it! Thinking of you. XO

Caroline said...

I can relate to your posts so well, I am also in a funk and I know I just have to power through the next 5 weeks and it will get better. Having an end date (just like an end mile) is SO helpful. Somehow though, I feel like it was easier to power through the last 6.2 miles because it was *only* one more hour of pain- not 5+ weeks.
Hang in there! The end is in sight!

Jess said...

Thinking about you, Lisa! I agree with what many others have said. You need to just take a day to yourself and focus on nothing but some relaxing you-time. Leaving something (i.e. studying) alone for 24-hours will probably do you a world of good right now. Think about a day at the spa or just curling up on your couch reading a book.
In the meantime, I am going to keep sending positive vibes in your direction!

crystal said...

Ugh, I agree! I feel the same way about my dissertation and hate who I become when someone kind heartedly asks how it is going. Thanks for the marathon analogy though, somehow it helps to think of it that way.

Ok Lisa, we can do this!!

crystal said...

Ugh, I agree! I feel the same way about my dissertation and hate who I become when someone kind heartedly asks how it is going. Thanks for the marathon analogy though, somehow it helps to think of it that way.

Ok Lisa, we can do this!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Good for you for trying to stay positive ... it is true, that "this too will pass." Hang in there!

imlivinginadream said...

For some reason, I didn't realize just HOW much I understood you until I read this post. Although you're doing a TON more studying then me, I'll be in your exact position come September. I'm choosing to pursue a business major in University which requires a lot of brain attention which I feel like I'm lacking these days. I'm hoping the summer rejuvenates my spirits and I'm ready to kick butt in September, but the truth is I know I'll be hitting lots of walls, too. Like you, I'll just have to push through and know that this was my choice & it will be worth it in the end. I have no doubt you'll get to June and be soso happy with yourself for making it there and getting closer to your certification. And the good news is; then you have the whole summer to look forward to, yay! :) Just a few more months, you can do this!

CharisFaith said...

You are so amazing!!! I think of how much you have accomplished and I know how hard you have worked!!!!

This too shall pass and in the meantime if you need to just vent you have my email.

Sending lots of hugs and support!!!!

Becky said...

I'm not a runner but I totally understand "hitting the wall." We used to use this term in Girl Scouts when we'd hike for really long amounts of time.

Hang in there friend - you can do it!!!

J said...

You are doing so great with all your studying! I don't know if I could do it - takes a lot of dedication! Hopefully a little break will help?

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

We live in such an immediate gratification society that 4-6 months really does feel like forever. It's ridiculous. Imagine yourself in a horse drawn buggy society ... 4-6 months would fly by, because that piece of mail you sent to England would still be en-route! =) I know you're gonna power through and rock this exam!

San said...

Sometimes I wonder how I made it through college. Sometimes I wonder how I was able to pull a thesis "out of a hat" in 4 months. Sometimes I feel like I would have not discipline left to commit myself to anything that last longer than a week's length.

So, I know how you feel and I can relate to your feelings of being exhausted and tired.

Sometimes it's help to really focus on the - admittedly - little things you can do for yourself in between. I am keeping my fingers crossed that you'll keep your eyes on the prize.... and June 2nd will be here soon enough ;)

HUGS.

Jeanie said...

Lisa, I get the funk. I'm in one too. I think it's interesting that you are able to implement your marathon training to push through. I'm not pushing. I'm slogging through. But one thing I know -- you have the ability, skills, drive to do what you need to. Sometimes what you need is to just stop -- not long, just long enough to recharge.

You'll be Fine, Fine, Fine! I know that. (We're in reorganization at work, too. It's so hard...)

Cherry Blossoms said...

You are such a determined person and I think what you are feeling is only natural.
Good news is you are half way thru your CFA material and with the weather being so nice maybe hitting up the park or a coffee shop for a few hrs could help the studying time pass by.