Sunday, February 8, 2015

The End for Now

There's a lot that I wanted to say in this blog post that I realized that I shouldn't put on the Internet.  In short, I've had a lot of struggles this month in my running and I have found every excuse to not get out on the roads:  Too tired, too busy, too icy, some problems with my foot that I'm pretty sure are my fault.  The long and short of it is that I just don't have the motivation to get out there and train hard enough to run half marathons or even think about longer races.

I'm deferring to the 8K at Virginia Beach.  There's just no way I can possibly be in half marathon shape by March 22, for a variety of reasons that are almost all my fault.  I am going to try to train for the Wild Half Marathon in May in Wildwood, NJ.  But beyond that, I don't know.  Right now, it just doesn't seem like running is something I enjoy anymore.  I've just completely lost my motivation.  It goes beyond running, but this is just a running blog. 

My lack of motivation to write this blog has probably been obvious to anyone still that still reads it, with declining entries each year, reflecting fewer and fewer miles.  What's the point of a blog w less than 2 entries per month?  I really do thank you for reading it, though.  I appreciate all the comments, and encouragement, and support over the past 4+ years.  If at some point in the future I'm feeling a passion for running again, Earn Your Donuts might possibly be back, too.

Thanks and best wishes.



  1. A while back I was thinking it was about time you thought about the reasons why you desire to be a runner?

    Do you desire the runner's life for competition? to feel the combination of optimal arousal and performance? for better health? as mental stress relieve?

    There are outlets for all of those desires without the need for running. There is a certain ethic about running that may be appealing to non-runners, but running, at this point of human evolution, is not something that is exactly beneficial or healthy for every individual. Especially running distances in excess of 3 miles or desiring to run new personal bests. Running for individual maximum performance is not a healthy pursuit, that is not to say that the pursuit of maximum performance should not be desired - it just needs to be smartly pursued.

    I would say it is time to find that intersection of performance and arousal that creates that magical feeling of flow in another endeavor that has a different set of physical stressors than running. Rowing, swimming, cycling, diving (free or self-contained) are all endeavors (to name just a few) that require the individual to physically prepare themselves for an intense activity that can yield a feeling of flow.

    Life isn't about fitting square pegs into round holes, but finding where the square pegs fit for the desired results. And sometimes, for what we actually desire, the means of attaining the desire is not what we first thought.

    So, again, the question is, what were the real desires from running and how can you modify the means to still achieve that desire?

    1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Danny. I started running to get in better shape (I have a VERY sedentary job) and challenge myself w/a 5K. Over time, it became something more than this and something that was very important to me -- something I could be proud of myself for and have accomplishments in that was not tied to my job.

      I liked being a runner more than I actually liked the act of running. I took a lot of pride in the fact that I could drop double-digit mileage any time I wanted to and that I could have an extra slice of pizza because I'd run 40 miles that week, but I didn't necessarily enjoy the run itself. On a cool fall morning, yes, it was the nicest part of my day, but in the summer, especially, i hated every second, but it still gave me that sense of accomplishment.

      I think the strong recent antipathy toward running is a mix of two things: 1. depression, which I didn't want to get into too much on here, but I'm having trouble motivating/focusing in other areas, too, and 2. just a sense of being burned out after three years with a lot of struggle but very little reward. It stops being fun when most runs are bad, or when I have no idea if my compartment symptoms will flare up or not, or when there is just a lot more work to make good runs more likely. This isn't meant as a complaint, but it's not as fun when I just can't go out and run, but there's much more rigor both pre and post run and on my "off" days. In my far-past "glory days", I could always run the miles, but I was never so good on my off days, and I'm paying the price now in that I don't have that discipline.

      I like sports, so I think I need to look for a (relatively low-level, since I'm not really good at them) basketball or volleyball rec league, though, as competition, or find some hobby where I am making something or accomplishing something that replaces some of the positive self-esteem that I got from running.

      I don't think this will be the complete end of running for me. But I think it might probably be the end of training for races longer than 5 or 10K. In my current mindset and physicality, always having a half marathon hanging over me is a stressor and not a motivator. I do want to suck it up and train for the half in May. If I can run that one, then maybe running is fun again and I look at all this afresh, but I don't want to sign up for any more big races until I am sure that I actually have the desire to work hard enough to run those distances, because I just don't feel it anymore.

    2. FYI; I don't believe in depression; and I don't think anyone should.


      The incomprehensible greatness of the Human Spirit, the Spirit of Life, Spiritual Consciousness, or whatever you want to call it.

      And that comes from someone who has struggled in life himself.

    3. At least you didn't tell me to "just cheer up", I guess.

  2. I'm not recovering from injury, but, well, I could have written this post. I'm really wondering where my brain would be, right now, if I had deferred to the half last Saturday.

    You'll get back -- I'm sure of it. Heck, you're one of the main influences that got me thinking of running really long distances . . . if May doesn't happen, well, there is always another race.

    1. Thanks John! It's funny that you say you say I influenced you because I recall at the Harrisburg Mile one year you asked if I was running the Harrisburg Marathon, and I said "No way, I have no desire to do a marathon." But that got me thinking about it.

      I'm motivated by other people's well-meaning or unintentional peer pressure. I know so many people who did Love Run or Broad Street, that I wish I were out there w/them.