It's been a rough couple of weeks for running. I'm less motivated than usual, I'm feeling exhausted, and it's been busy at work and in other parts of life. I can't help but think - why did I sign up for another marathon? What am I doing? Do I really want to run 15 miles this weekend and to keep adding distance after that?
Today's run was no exception to this mental lapse and it was hard to even get out the door. I changed into running clothes, went outside, and hit the button to get satellites on my Garmin. It locked quickly so I didn't even stretch before my run (I usually do a little) because I feared I wouldn't want to go anywhere if I waited longer.
This lack of motivation is rather unusual for me and frustrating. I feel like it should be mental so I can just wipe it away, but that isn't working so far. The only thing I can do is force myself out the door and try to stay positive. I started to run and the first mile was really, really tough. I stopped to stretch for a bit and even took a walk break in an attempt to get my mind and body on the same page.
When I feel this way, I go through a little checklist in my head to make myself aware that there is no good reason to stop running. Today went a little something like this.
Am I in pain? No.
Am I injured? No.
Am I out of breath? No.
Is my heart rate too high? No.
Am I sick? No.
Am I tired? Well yeah, but who isn't.
Is anything at all wrong? No.
So there you have it self, there is no reason to stop running today. That said, by the second mile I considered capping my planned 7 mile run at 4 or 5 miles. Knowing my feel-good-and-warmed-up-place is usually 2.5 to 3 miles, I set my goal to run at least that far before turning around for my out and back. I finally felt better (still not good) around 2.5 and held out until 3 miles before turning around. Somewhere after that I found my zone, albeit a slow and tough one, and added the extra mile to finish my planned distance.
By the end of the run I actually felt good and finished strong, but this run took a lot more mental energy than usual. I'm still not sure why I have the lack of motivation or why I feel so exhausted, but if nothing else I boosted my self-esteem a little by finishing my run! I'm so glad I did.
I know this isn't an overall happy and positive post, but the message is something I want to share and need to remember myself. I can do this, I can run, even when it feels tough. Some days are harder than others, yet the end result is always worthwhile.
The next time I run into a mental block, I need to remember how I pushed through it this time and that I really can do it. Believe in the run.