I started running in September, 2006. I can't say that I've always enjoyed it or that I've looked forward to every, or even most runs. I accept that a lot of runs really just will be garbage miles: not enjoyable for their own sake but worthwhile in service to a higher goal, whether that goal was a 5K, 10K, half marathon, or marathon. The good runs -- whether they're races or those perfect days where everything seems to come together -- make up for the not-so fun ones.
Until now. I'm in the worst motivational crisis I've ever had in my running "career". Can't quite coax myself out to run before work in the morning, and no desire whatsoever to hit the road after a long day of work. I'm crushing my long runs right now -- 17, 18, and 19 over the last three weeks is the best three-week stretch of long runs I've ever had (I'm looking forward to a step-back this week, though), but the motivation to get out for my mid-week runs just isn't there right now.
I'm not sure why. Work is crazy busy, and my stress level's been consistently high for most of 2011. But that's not a good enough excuse. In January, February, and March, I took on some of the biggest and most complex work projects I've ever had, working into the wee hours of the morning on many occasions, but I just couldn't wait to get outside for 6 or 7 miles at 5:30pm. I mostly ran angry, fueled by the leftover stress of the work day, and on some of these runs I think ran with more of a pounding, purposeful stride than usual, probably contributing to my IT band injury. I'm thankful that the IT band is holding up well (knock on wood), but I could sure use that motivation.
I went for a 6-mile run tonight after work. I felt slow and tired, and temperatures had soared (again, by my cold-loving standards) into the sweltering 70s, but at least I did it. Even if I don't enjoy these runs now, I need to keep my mind on the excitement and terror of 11/20, and relief and (hopefully) joy I'll feel when I cross the finish line.