Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Running Mojo

Remember that one time I lost my running mojo? Yeah, it has happened more than once. But this time? It has been MONTHS.

As is the norm for me, I'm typically signed up for billions of races. I have only signed up for 2 or 3 in the last 5 months.

Running has NOT been fun. Not in training. Not in racing. Not to say that I have not had fun AT a race. I just have not had fun with the whole running part.

I don't know what to do. It's weird to me to think that I have to "force" running. I mean, I only started running years ago to lose weight. At some point I've begun to tolerate it, if not actually like it. There is no liking right now. I dread training. I dread racing. And I am fairly certain that my negativity is affecting my running and making it just as bad (if not worse) than I've imagined.
  • I've obviously had an actual for real injury.
    • IT band isn't 100% cured, but is tolerable.
    • After CIM, my ankles HURT. They feel either sprained or bruised.
  • My training is down about 50% from where it's consistently been for the last 3 years.
  • I have done ZERO double digit training runs since Moab. So... since February?
    • Related - I bet I've done less than 10 runs that were longer than 5 or 6 miles since that same time.
    • Most of my training runs are 4 miles or less. And even those 4 miles are rarely (if ever) completed without walking at some point.
  • My pace is off SIGNIFICANTLY (think in the region of 2-3ish minutes per mile)
  • I'm TIRED. Like all the time. It doesn't matter if I take days off from "running" or the gym. It doesn't matter if I get 8 hours of sleep. I feel like I am exhausted all the time.
    • I probably AM drinking more coffee
    • My diet has NOT changed in any significant way
  • I have put on about 10 pounds since I was training full force for Moab. Even running more to lose those 10 pounds hasn't been a motivator.
    • Skirts that didn't chafe are now chafing
    • Arm sleeves that didn't chafe are now chafing
  •  I feel like I really want to run trails... but don't know who to run with, as I'm not very comfortable navigating them alone.
  • I've thought about going back to running with that run group, but I was having a hard time keeping up BEFORE I was in this funk. I can't think of anything more depressing than driving for a half hour to be DFL in a "group" run where I'm by myself and don't really know anyone.
    • Related: Same run group has a race team. I thought maybe it would be fun to apply for that. Then I saw the VERY FIRST REQUIREMENT - "Be a top performer in the sport both at the age group and overall level" So..... NEVERMIND ON THAT
  • And... to add insult to injury. My running coach just sorta dropped me after Palo Duro. Just never heard from him again.
Well. I could go on and on and on and on. I have excuse after excuse. The long of the short of it is... the CONCEPT or running and racing still sounds fun. But I have lost ALL motivation to actually train to do anything. I do not WANT to get on the treadmill. I do not WANT to get bundled up to go for a run in 20 degree weather by myself. I do not WANT to suffer miserably through YET ANOTHER marathon because I am stupidly under-trained.

All of us have been in a funk at one time or another.... however, it's been over four months now, and I'm ready to get out. Or stop running altogether.

Suggestions? Comments? Criticism?

Closest I've come to not hating running? A brief mile or so during that trail half marathon I did last month:

13 comments:

  1. First off, what a completely sucky kind of running group is that? I've never heard of a GROUP that didn't have a plan for runners at all levels. Seriously. They suck.

    I've gained weight too and believe me it really changes how much I love running because even a few pounds makes a big difference over a distance. So I feel for you there. (fyi - I'm still looking at needing to lose closer to 20 pounds. Yeah, that sucks too!)

    Since I'm all about sucking in this comment. My best advice might suck or you might think it does but maybe just maybe just run. Or don't. For a while. If you want to explore trails get to know them hiking first. find a park that provides maps. Time on your feet on technical trails whether it be running or hiking still builds up those stabilizer muscles. No matter what you do, just keep doing (I know you will).

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  2. I've been in a bit of a funk for the 2nd half of this year too. The best thing, I'm running again because I enjoy it and I'm signed up for zero races. Maybe take a month (or more) off from your racing schedule to bring the mojo back and get to the point where you actually feel like going out on say a Tuesday for a run just because you just feel like running for the joy of running?

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  3. I totally hear you and I'm in the same boat right now. I ran a marathon end of September and was tired and burned out afterwards. I was looking forward to a break and since I also got injured with achilles tendonitis I had the perfect excuse not to run. And you know what... I enjoyed not running! But at the same time I felt guilty for not running and loosing all stamina I had build up. I didn't run at all for 5 weeks and last saturday I went out for 3 miles with my running friends. It was awesome and really what I needed! I would recommend you to take X amount of time off from running and do not run even though you would like too. Missing running always helps to get back into it and start loving it again! Also, I would check for a local running group. Maybe even just check out daily mile. I found 3 ladies in my town and I know without them I would have lost my love for running. Hang in there!!

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  4. Maybe take a break and find another form of exercise for awhile. I think it is scary to walk away from running because it is what you do and part of who you are and you have spent so much time building up endurance (I am projecting my own feeling but they may apply:)). That being said, Life is short. If it isn't fun anymore maybe it is time for a break. Do something else- yoga, zumba, whatever. Or maybe sign up with a friend to do a muddy buddy run- or something more obstacle based for a change of pace. I bet if you take a break you will eventually feel like running again. Probably just need a break from the stress of training, race planning and race running.

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  5. Man I'm going to sound like a "mom" when i say this, but you really should get looked at (maybe blood drawn?) to see what is causing all this fatigue. If something is "off" that can affect motivation, mentality, energy etc??

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  6. agreeing with Lisa on this one. I’m thinking head to the doctor. something is obviously off. Have them run a few tests to be safe. If that doesn’t show anything, take some time off. If you are dreading every single run, that is not fun. I’m so sorry! hope you get some answers soon.

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  7. I too had similar issues...it's hard. I gained 10 lbs training for my full marathon. I killed my knee. My IT band was screaming. But I gave myself some time to rest (about a month), and am now creeping bak in. Keep your chin up, and never...give up.

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  8. *hugz*

    Get on the trails; put aside all fears, insecurities. Go for a walk, jog, shuffle, run on the trails.

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  9. Starting with a routine blood workup sound like a good first step (anemia, thyroid, etc., can mess with you while not being super obvious).
    Also, really think about your goals. You hit the big 50-state one recently, but honestly, I thought there would be more fanfare about it. Was the end of the goal a little bit of a letdown?
    Are you truly stoked to run all-the-Colorado-runs, or are you just filling the Goal Place for motivation? I mean, I get that it's hard to get psyched to run double digits and log high-mileage weeks without a target. And if you aren't doing that, weight maintenance (or loss) is a lot harder. But what is the true goal? If taking off the 10 lbs is it right now, I'd suggest lighter running mileage and adding weight training of some type (recent research, blah, blah).
    But your body is absolutely telling you something, so check it out & think hard about what you're asking from it. Good luck!

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  10. Agreed with most of the others. Get checked out. You could be suffering from overtraining syndrome too. I went through a phase where every run sucked, I was always tired, I was always irritable, I was slow but it felt like I was working extra hard. Yeah, overtrained. A few weeks of not running at all helped a lot.

    Try something new! I'm a runner but I like other things too. I'm a firm believer that you should do things that you enjoy - otherwise, you'll never exercise. Take some gym classes, try pole dancing (so fun!), Zumba, CrossFit something that will spark motivation.

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  11. I don't have any advice to offer really but I wanted to say that I hope you find your running mojo again soon!

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  12. Sorry you haven't been motivated. You are an amazing athlete. So, don't be so hard on yourself. Maybe you just need to do something new for a couple of weeks - Maybe in a new outfit, to help motivate! Good luck. Feel better

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  13. I have so enjoyed your blog, recently found it as we have been trying to figure out which first Ultra to do. We are in the Denver area and run a race almost every weekend. Sound familar lol!
    Funks happen, but friends make them go away. We would love to compare notes, always looking for a member to join some of the relay events. Feel free to contact us
    baileynjm@Hotmail.com We will be in Disney as well and also just got into the Canyonlands, like your advice(Michael)

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