Thursday, September 8, 2011

Burnout? Funkytown? How one run helped.

Right now I hate running!   Stay with me, I have a solution.

Hate is too strong a word.   I don't like running.  That's not true, I still like running, I just don't want to run.   Perhaps I just want to do something else with that time.   Perhaps, I took too many days off in the last two weeks, a total of 4 runs from August 22 through September 5.  Perhaps it is the rigors of training for a marathon (way harder than I had thought after training for a Half) coupled with rasping a young family (3 yo and newborn).  Whatever the problem is, running seems like work right now, and I don't want to get up and do it, I would rather sleep, play with the kids, try to take care of the house (why is there so much to do?), or play video games.   So with that, and stresses at work, we are starting conceptual design on our project finally, but the company is looking at lay-offs it seems that there are pressures from many sides. 

I imagine that all runners out there have experienced this phenomenon (the I don't want to run phenomenon, Burnout is appropriate I beleive).  Some would say that this is a funk, a stay cation in funkytown if you will.   But it doesn't seem that way to me.   My runs the last couple of weeks have been great (when I wanted to or actually did go do them), I feel fine, I feel strong, my desire is waning

For example, last weekend I took the family on vacation to our cabin in Montana, a great place on Lindbergh Lake.   I ran one time.   Once, for 8 really awesome miles, they really were great.  The road through the forrest was cool when I ran, which had a positive effect on my run (faster than I thought in the higher altitude), very hilly, but an easy trail run on the dirt road at the lake.  I loved being out in nature, and would seriously consider moving out east (or at least to the mountains) to do more trail runs.  But the rest of the weekend I just wanted to relax and enjoy time with my family.   So I did, throwing away a 10 mile run.

Monday night I bought a new video game, Tuesday morning running be darned.   I have been up late playing it for a few nights now, which is the reason I ran yesterday afternoon in the heat.   That run may have actually turned the key for me though.   It was hard, because it was 95* outside and I didn't really want to be running in the first place.   But a funny thing happened during the run, I started thinking about my next run (tomorrow an amount of miles or time to be determined when I get out on the road).  And I have plans to run with my running buddies Saturday and Sunday I am not doing the 14 mile run on Sunday, I would rather go do a shorter run with my friend and enjoy it instead of worrying about trying to cram 6 miles in before I meet up with him. 

So here is the new agenda.   I am going to enjoy running, which means trying to reach mileage as described in my training plan, but not fretting over what type of run it is.   So if the schedule calls for 6 miles of intervals and I don't feel like them, then fine, I will just go try the 6 miles however I feel like.   I will focus on a few key runs, the final 20 mile run I have scheduled for Oct.9 being the last before tapering.   The Half-Marathon rave schedule in two weeks that I am still looking forward to dropping 2 hours on.   And next week's long run, which will be 16-18 miles depending on the week's running and how I feel Sunday.

Things not to worry about, speed, don't know that I am going to improve much speed wise between now and the end of October, especially as this will be my first marathon, and the goal is to finish!  This will give me a goal for next time.   Plus I can look forward to next year and how to train to increase speed over long distances.

So with those three key runs, and a bit of mental toughness, I will be able to complete my first marathon at the end of October  Between now and then, less focus and worry over the miles and training plan, less worry over the house stuff, and more trying to relax during my free time.

So hopefully with this new approach I can get back to running happy. Remember - Have fun out there!

No comments:

Post a Comment