Tuesday, October 11, 2011


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.


  1. I know getting up early before work is very difficult, especially how busy you are, but I bet if you could do that and go for a quick run, you would feel amazing at work and a bit less stressed! Then you can come home and just enjoy the evening and not worry about the run, which is probably causing even more stress. Once you start doing it a few times, it'll become second nature and you won't know how you CAN'T do it!

  2. Training for a marathon is emotionally draining when you have work and family and everything else piled on top of your needing to be obsessive about your training, which is pretty much required if you want to perform up to the standard you set for yourself on race day. Personally, I don't have the mental make-up to be a marathon runner and I'm in awe of those who do. Having said that, you're getting to the point where it's all coming to a head. The taper before your race will allow you to relax and chill out a little and hopefully when you line up at the start on race day it'll be with the intention to kill it and not just make it through. Either way, your continuing to plod on is impressive to me!

  3. Thank you both
    @Jill, I've been working late most nights lately, so it's hard to shift to back into morning running mode, but I think you're right. I look forward to cool weather all summer, and then this year it arrived and made me a bit sloppy with my schedule (since I don't have to get out early to beat the heat)

    @ Moron -- Thanks. I don't think I quite have it either. I'd like to keep doing the occasional marathons,but I don't think I'd do Spring-Fall-Spring ones like this again.

  4. Funny, I just whined on facebook about the very same thing...

  5. Evening runs kick my ass! I hate them. I'm so much better off getting the miles in during morning hours. However, that has its drawbacks as well.