It’s been a while since I’ve loved running. It’s been a while since I’ve ran. I’ve been having motivation problems ever since I ran the Wisconsin Half in May of 2015… lost my love for running. It was my first Half Marathon and I don’t think I was ready for how regimented the training makes your running. I did exactly what the calendar said to do to a tee. I ran even when I didn’t feel like running. It got to the point that even music didn’t make the run more enjoyable.
Even so, after the Wisconsin Half, I kept my training up and ran the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago last November 2015. That was the last time I ran any great distance. You can read all about that run here. It was a wonderful day running with a good friend – it was her longest distance and it was a breeze for me. I got to enjoy it – the sights and the sounds of the city. But every run after that felt like such a chore I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
Since November, I’ve ran maybe a mile a week? Maybe. I increased the amount of lifting I was doing and dove more into HIIT workouts and circuit training. I stopped tracking my calorie intake and stopped weighing and measuring myself. Through all of that I only gained back about 15lbs. I think most was muscle in my lower half from all the burpees and squats and the lack of running – because we all know distance running training is not an “normal” lifestyle unless you make it one. Every time I tried to run I lost interest really fast and would find myself stopping to take pictures, change the song, tie my shoes, etc. Excuses.
In talking to a few experienced runners burn out seems like its pretty common, especially for newer runners. It’s how you pick yourself up and get back into the game that matters. One of the best pieces of advice I got was from an avid runner that I work with. When I was talking to him about losing my love for it, he said, “I can completely sympathize with that. The same thing happened to me in 2014. I had a great year, results/time-wise, but after training and running Boston in Spring, picking up some injuries along the way, then training and running the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, I was physically and mentally FRIED. I took 10 months off to rest/have surgery/recover. I didn’t race at all last year and didn’t start running until late August. I had a lot of time to reflect and went through some life-changing events. As much as it totally sucked last year, I needed it to recharge and find the motivation and desire to want to race again. I’m still trying to stay healthy and reach my goals, but it’s a work in progress.” He went on to say, “I think we tend to get caught up in ‘one-size-fits-all’ training plans and keeping up with our peers, which only leads to burnout, fatigue, and not enjoying it the way we want to.”
So I’m trying to ease myself back into it! Run for the love of running instead of by the books and be more flexible with my “training calendar”. I’m trying to recharge and find the motivation and desire to run again. I’m trying to have the same feelings I had of joy and strength and pride while training for the Wisconsin Half.
I signed up to run the Paavo Nurmi Half in Hurley, WI in August. It’s a beautiful course that runs through the area we snowmobile and vacation. I’m excited.
My first run was Monday night. My calendar said 2 miles but I ended up doing 2.5 by the time I was done. Was it my most awesome run ever? No. Did it feel good to be back at it? Yes! it was 78 and humid – typical Wisconsin summer day. 🙂 I pushed through the tough moments and gave myself a mental pep talk to keep going when I felt like giving up.
“Mind is everything. Muscle – pieces of rubber. All that I am, I am because of my mind.” – Paavo Nurmi
And so starts my journey to my second Half! Weeeeeee!
How do you get through the rough times as a runner?