Runnin’ RuT

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.

pretty ideal, right?

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.

“]
I get the chills seeing this [mind you, the Ironman was on 9/11

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!! 

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4 thoughts on “Runnin’ RuT

  1. Gahhhh I hate when this happens. I haven’t found anything really motivating when I am in a rut other than to just get out and go. Even if I end up walking/running I tell myself it is better than not going at all. That is AWESOME that you signed up for the RnR. Great ideas for not dwelling on the negative while you run, I need to stop the comparison shit myself.

  2. I think everyone goes through a running rut at one point or another. I honestly barely ran after my second half marathon this summer. I think it’s important not to force yourself back into it, because then you probably won’t enjoy the runs at all. Try different forms of exercise and just wait until you feel the urge to run again. Exercise should be fun– not something you are dreading. Good luck!:)

  3. i totally know how you feel! to get out of the running rut, i simply take a break. i do other forms of exercise such as strength training, swimming, spinning, workouts videos, etc. Then all of a sudden, i would get the urge to run again. and bam! i would be back in it 🙂 i’m even running a half marathon tomorrow so it proves that it is possible to get out of a running rut 🙂

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