I am in a rut. I cannot get myself to go running for the life of me. I lace up almost every morning, strap on the Garmin and head outside. But something is not clicking. My legs are heavy and achey. I get winded easily. My mind focuses on the hurt rather than the enjoyment and pleasure I used to experience. My eyes are glued to my Garmin to check distance and pace. Where did the fun I found in running go?
Let me back up a moment. As soon of you know I was injured back in May. Around mile 6 of what I have dubbed HEARTBREAK HALF. I tore my calf muscle. I couldn’t walk for days and hurt so bad. Then once that was finally healed I cracked my back wrong so that put me out of running for another week. Alas, I had to leave for Army training where I was gone for 28 days and only ran 4 times there. I was super anxious and excited to start running again mid-July when I got back…. I was “lucky” enough to return to a heat wave. Here in Wisconsin it usually is about 80-85 in the summer. The two weeks following when I returned were in the upper 90s.. the. whole. time. Needless to say after working 10 hour days outside in that heat I had zero energy to run. And I was too busy celebrating my 21st birthday.
That series of unfortunate events that lasted 4 months certainly explain why I’m “out of shape” when it comes to running. But why do I not love it anymore? Shouldn’t I still want to lace up and just run to escape real life like I always did before? Running was my vice. When I had a bad day… I ran. When I was stressed… I ran. When I was happy… I ran. When I was bored… I ran. And yet I sit here now and running feels like a chore. Now when I run along the beautiful Lakeshore Path on campus I don’t admire the beauty.
I don’t soak in the beauty of running and having other runners out there. Instead I focus on how much it hurts and doesn’t come like second nature anymore. Now I’m too busy checking the Garmin to see what pace I’m running… how far I’ve gone.
I am signed up for the Nashville RnR marathon in April. While I have a lot of time before training even starts I’d really like to get back up to a solid maintenance base. I have a plan to find the joy in running again:
• Ditch the Garmin—my Garmin will be going into hiding until January when I start training. OR if I get back to where I was with running mentally before then I will bring it back!
• Change it up—I’m incorporating strength training and some swimming into my schedule too so I don’t push running so hard that come time to train for the marathon I’m just burnt out.
• Go Naked—While I can’t go every run without music, I want to try to go on at LEAST one run a week without my music. I will use this time to reflect on where I’m at with running and get in sync with what my body is saying.
• Find a buddy—You’d think it’d be easy to find a running partner on a college campus of 40,000. Not true. I have no one to run with here at the moment and I think having someone relying on me to run with them would encourage me more.
• Stop with the comparison trap—While I love reading race recaps about peoples races, I always find myself thinking gosh, I’m so slow. Why am I still so sucky at running? Why don’t I have runner legs? Etc. No more comparisons!
• Make healthy decisions—I’m on a new “diet” and I want to stick to it as much as I can. I know it’ll help me tone up and get in shape. That way I won’t feel guilty if I add a few pounds of pure carbs when I train for the marathon.
• Volunteer—I have been volunteering at races lately and I really enjoy it. It lights a little spark under my booty and I love being out there seeing people achieve there dreams. Just last weekend at the Ironman WI I saw a guy in full firefighter gear competing. Talk about inspiration.
So there you have it folks. There’s my plan to get out of this rut and rekindle the passion I had for running just a few short months ago. Shoutout to Sam (HI!) who has helped me stay positive through this ☺
Tell me: What do you do to get back on the running wagon? I am real bummed and need all the motivation/help out there!!