Today’s Reason: Burnout

Is it true?  Has it happened?  Am I burned out from running???

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

Rough trails, mos def... rough TRIAL... fo sho!

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:

Fellow TNTer Cyndi proving the statement!

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.

12 thoughts on “Today’s Reason: Burnout

  1. Lisa W

    YES. That why its good to add variety to your workouts. Doing the same thing over and over will not only cause boredom but your physical ability will plateau. You’re no longer getting the benefits to your workouts that you used to. Try throwing in different cardio doing the week to see if that helps – Zumba, spin, swimming, long hikes, etc etc. And I can put you in touch with a couple of other runner friends who will probably have other suggestions as well. Good luck Sunday!!

    Reply
  2. mamagoforarun

    oh I have so been there – I always say running is like every other long term commitment (aka marriage!) – some seasons it is easy, some seasons it is hard – yet always worth it and always wonderful when I look deep. I’m excited to follow your blog. Good luck on Sunday!!

    Reply
  3. DrRachelRuns

    Some times running is hard. Really hard. The monotony, the distances, the getting-up-early…even the clothes start to annoy me every now and then. I get all cranky with running. It happens. Anything worth doing is hard. It always makes me think of A League of their Own and one of the best quotes: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

    I take a few days off, try a new route, run with a friend, just try to change it up. I find that my running crankiness always goes away sooner or later and I come back to running. 🙂

    Reply
  4. aewills

    Oh, bugger. That sucks that it’s been a struggle lately! I feel like the other commenters have hit it on the head–sometimes you go through a slump, but it all comes back around. I’m just starting to like running again after almost two months of sucky, slow runs and low motivation. I think winter is part of the problem. It’s so dark, and part of you just wants to hibernate. It will pass! Switching up routes and routines is a really good idea. Looking forward to Sunday, I bet that’ll be the turnaround :).

    Reply
  5. Suzanne

    Winter leaves me feeling like everything is hard, running most of all. I’m sure this is a fleeting feeling and your running mojo will make a fast return!

    Reply
  6. Theresa

    Sounds like you might have hit a wall. I hit a couple training for my last marathon. I just pushed through them and it eventually got easier. Here’s hoping that’s the case for you.

    Reply
  7. 30WL

    You know, your record and medals and experience really impresses me; it might just be a temporary wall, because you’ve definitely put the work in. I try varying courses or doing intervals, but I haven’t run for nearly as long as you – you’ll push through it! Good luck on your 1/2!

    Reply
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