Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Loss of My Running Mojo: For Real This Time

So on Saturday I ran 16 miles.  It was mostly pretty - river views and runs through the adorable Bavarian town of Leavenworth.  At least half were on these adorable little shaded trails along the river.  I ran with Jordanne after mile 5 and Amy for a few miles as well, so for the most part I had company.  But although it had the makings of being a great run, it was still just okay.  It was pretty warm out, at least in terms of what I'm used to, and especially as the day wore on (I started around 7:40am and finished around 10:30am) as the sun started bearing down on you.

Look at my gorgeous views!

I realize I'm starting to become a Debbie Downer broken record and I DON'T LIKE IT.  It started after my 20 miler.  Although that went GREAT, the week following it was horrible.  Then there was that whole business with the Portland Rock n Roll Half Marathon sucking.  Even though I tried to come out of that with my guns blazing talking big smack of my marathon plans, although I talked the talk I sure haven't been walking the walk.

Though I definitely have been walking the WINE walk: 

 Bears so rarely get to partake in any festivities.  It's just not fair.  

Anyway, let's get on with it.  I've been thinking a lot about why my running mojo has been slim to non-existent this past month (yes a whole month, I looked it up, my 20 miler was on Cinco de Mayo).  And I've come up with a few theories.  

1.  Marathon Training Burn-Out.  14 weeks is too long for me.  I know that's not even long compared to other people's training plans.  And in another world, in another situation, it might work for me.  But in this case, I think 9-10 weeks would have been perfect.  It's my fault, I was all gung-ho to get started and so excited and enthusiastic.  And I did GREAT for the first half.  I ran nearly all of my speed workouts, had great runs, and was like YAY MARATHON TRAINING!  But after my 20 miler I've been on a downward spiral with many more bad runs than good ones.  I haven't been doing my speedwork, my legs constantly feel heavy despite being rested, and I feel like I'm getting slower and slower, which isn't exactly motivating.

2.  The Loss of my Training Buddies.  In the first half of my training (maybe #2 is synonymous with #1), I ran nearly all of my runs with Jordanne and Lisa.  We met 2 if not 3 times a week (and I only run 3 days a week on the Run Less Run Faster plan, remember?) and I felt good nearly all of those runs.  I never gave up on a run because I always knew someone was waiting on me and I couldn't let them down.  Running with them made me want to do extra mileage instead of cut my runs short like I do now.  Track workouts done with friends are 99% more likely to be completed.  Then Lisa got hurt (poor Lisa) and Jordanne and I got busy.  Turns out Lisa was the glue that held us together.  And now I rarely run with anyone.  However the runs I DO run with other people are 90% GREAT (like my 22 miler with Jordanne, my 20 miler with Zoe and the blogger crew, the Mt. Si Relay 18 miler, the 15 miler with Lisa, Jordanne, and Amy, etc. etc. etc.).  The runs I run alone suck and are cut short and blah blah blah.

3.  I'm ready for something new.  And I think I know what that new thing should be.  Okay it's two things.  A) Remember how I won that Danskin Triathlon entry?  I'm ready to try my hand at a tri.  B) Remember my random but glorious 10 mile trail run?  Well I'm ready to try trail running for real.  And although it's not until October, I may or may not have just signed up for my first trail race!

4.  I'm busy.  You know that already.  Way back in January I had little going on at the time - it was crappy weather January, there was a lull at my job, I was waiting on things to be approved for my degree, etc.  So I started this blog, became a Girls on the Run coach, and signed up for a marathon.  Well now things are crazy at my job, BEYOND CRAZY in my degree world, etc. etc. etc. 

5.  This is the longest I've gone in a LONG TIME without getting at least a mini-injury (knock on wood knock on wood KNOCK ON WOOD!).  2010 and 2011 each had SEVERAL intervals where I had to take 1-2 weeks off because of injury scares.  So far I've been going strong since November, 2011 without ANY breaks.  Obviously I LOVE that.  Except I think those breaks keep my constant love and desire to be running alive. 

Anywho, this is a long list of excuses, and that's annoying.  Sorry team. 

Have you ever lost your running mojo?  How did you get it back?