My last few runs have not been great. More specifically, they have been HORRIBLE. The 6 miles on Sunday felt never-ending, I was angry the whole time. The 3 miles on Monday were excruciating, I wanted to stop after a mile. The next 3 miles on Tuesday were just as rough, ran the whole thing but hated every minute of it. And the 1.25 hill run yesterday was pretty much torture, the yearn to quit overwhelmed me.
After yesterday’s run, I said to Coach Kim, “What is wrong with me? I just don’t want to run! After 5 years, has it finally happened? Have I finally burned out???” Coach Kim couldn’t really answer that. And neither can I.
I am running the Kaiser half marathon on Sunday and while I am perfectly trained for it, I am really nervous because of my current attitude. For the first time in my running career, speed seems easy whereas distance feels threatening. My yearn to quit on the short runs has propelled me faster and even though I have accomplished a steady increase in distance on my long runs- hitting 6, 8, 10, then 12 miles just 2 weeks ago- it still seems so daunting… so far…
I’m wondering if I’m bored. Same weekly runs. Same route. Same weights at the gym. Maybe variety is the key. Maybe this race will be just what I need. Maybe focusing on my second marathon is dragging me down- knowing I have miles and miles to get through to get there again… I dunno, I just dunno… I am a hard worker when it comes to my training so this feeling is pretty frustrating.
On these bad runs, I find that I repeat over and over in my head, “This is so hard. Running is hard.” The longer you run- well the longer you do anything, really- the harder it gets to get better at it. Makes me feel jealous of the newbie runners out there- fresh legs, not injured, new distances to accomplish, many PRs to set… they have it so lucky. For me, after 5 years of running, I know I have to work harder to get better. And like I said- that’s fricking hard.
I know that it is perfectly normal to feel bad during a run, even a race- every run/race is different. I keep telling myself to relax, enjoy the fact that I am outside and smelling the fresh air; however, the more my mental fortitude breaks down, the more I focus on the negative and the more I suffer physiologically- my breathing, form and posture get all messed up. When this starts to happen, I stop, take a deep breath, and attempt to start over again. Usually that works, but lately it has not.
I would like to believe that with every run I improve and continually get better, but that just isn’t reality. Changes in my sleep pattern, my nutrition, drinking less water than usual, stress in my day-to-day life, or a combination of all of those factors can change the outcome of any run. And, essentially, running is repetitive so maybe it just stands to reason that anyone who runs for years will eventually feel this way.
Where oh where has my mojo gone???
I am really hoping that today and tomorrow, I can turn it all around in time for Sunday’s race. Get good sleep, eat well, foam roll like it’s my job, and just try to forget about those last few runs… I know exactly what Coach Al would say:
So I have to prove to Coach, prove to myself, and to my little legs that I am no wimp and CAN DO THIS (no matter how much I actually don’t want to!). It’s just a matter of time and will power… and if I’m “slow”, so be it! Listen to my body, breathe deeply, relax into my pace, and enjoy the race for what it is and if it ends up really sucking, well, the next one is just right around the corner!
Have you ever felt bored or burned-out from running? What do you do to combat that feeling? How long does it take you to shake it?
And please don’t forget to check out my Auction for a Cure benefiting my fundraising efforts for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society– I added a bunch of new prizes last week and at last count, there’s nearly $4000 worth of running products and gear up for auction! Check it out and bid today- every donation helps save and improve the lives of patients with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.
- Auction for a Cure (running4thereason.wordpress.com)