24 February 2012

Believe in the Run

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.

Motivational photo found on Pinterest via Eat. Run. Sleep. Repeat.

4 comments:

  1. maybe you need an extra day off this week... and some sleep ins this wkend. sometimes we need a little break to rejuvenate our mind and spirit! going to yoga always helps me mentally too!

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    1. Such good advice - I needed some downtime and took it this weekend. I already am looking forward to this week's runs! :)

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  2. Warning: advice to follow.

    Go to bed super early. Get up 60 minutes before your run. Stretch. Get a bite to eat, a sip to drink. Visualize yourself feeling fantastic on a great run. Then go do it. If you feel like $%&*, stop, go home, take the day off and have the confidence that your motivation will return tomorrow. You do this because you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, eventually you won't do it. -- Brian from IPF

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    Replies
    1. So true - I let myself off easy this weekend. Totally worth it!

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