It’s November, holy cow. The holidays are fast approaching which also means my half marathon is 10 weeks away. This will be #4 for me and I am hoping to complete my first full in May. I was supposed to do a full this upcoming weekend actually but with an unexpected move and the lack of training I decided to not run the marathon. I decided to do a little reflecting for motivation and realized I have had my fair share of minor ups and downs with running. It is interesting to look back on my journey and see what brought me here today to someone who finds such joy in running, blogging, and achieving my goals.
I first started running to de-stress after a long day of school and clinicals. What started as just a way to decompress turned into more of a exciting hobby. I may not be fast but with training I could actually run further than I ever thought. I have also had my fair share of bumps and bruises. I developed a painful pump bump training for my first half, I had a pinched nerve in my lower back training for my second and I developed SI joint dysfunctions for my 3rd. My 3rd half was my biggest challenge. I was developing some stomach issues, dealing with that and trying to train just really didn’t go hand in hand for me. I felt anytime I was running something was happening to my body. After I crossed the finish line I felt like literal death. So I decided to take a break. I turned to the gym more, began strengthening and focusing on getting and remaining healthy not just for my muscles and bio mechanics but for my stomach as well.
After about 2 months off, for cardio I would run a mile/mile and a half tops. I did not have the drive to lace up and hit pavement. To say the least my runs were absolute crap. I was a bit taken a back at how I didn’t find running as enjoyable as I used to. I felt a little lost in the exercise world. I used to be able to get lost in my thoughts and just go for miles. I loved the feeling brought for me. I loved the runners high. There were some runs I could have just kept going because it felt so good to be out there. And now, I couldn’t even wrap my brain about having to go outside to run a mile. I also used to work an hour away from home and my typical work day was roughly 9 hours long. So with the drive there and home I did not have much time to myself during the week. I was transitioning to more of a gym goer and leaving behind something I never thought I could do or be somewhat decent at and really grew to love. I have to admit I was in a running funk for some time, a good 6 months at least. No music, podcast or book did it for me.
This past spring and summer I remember thinking hmm I want to get back on the road a bit, test the waters, see how I feel. I was a bit hesitant. What if I wanted to lay on the ground and die from trying to suck in air and only being able to do a mile before my legs felt like they were going to fall off? ? My fears began to dwindle on my runs that maxed out at 2 miles. It was a good start, I didn’t want to do too much too soon. I was feeling like I was getting back into the running game and I was enjoying it. And then the call came. I was given a job opportunity I had always wanted for myself…5 states away. Oh and I had 10 days to pack up and go. So low and behold my tiny running gains were going out the window because lets be honest, transitioning, getting used to a new place, the southern heat and humidity took some time.
Once I got accustomed to my new home I got my drive back. It was like a switch was flicked on after all this time of being off. I wanted to get into a routine, I wanted to run again, I wanted to sign up for 100 races and complete my first marathon. Everything inside of me wanted to be on the road again. I ran roughly 50.2 miles in the month of October and cannot wait to step it up in November to get half marathon ready.
For me, maybe the break was something I needed for myself both physically and mentally. Maybe I needed to strengthen more to reduce the risk of injuries occurring and let my stomach settle. Whatever the reason was I feel like it brought out more love for running. I have the drive and motivation that I used to have when I first started out. I get excited for my long runs on Sunday again and it feels so great. I am keeping healthy with fueling my body with whole foods, I am still strength training for stability and good mechanics, and of course its finally cooling off a bit in South Carolina so the sun and heat aren’t too brutal. With that being said I am beyond eager to increase my mileage and get ready to cross the finish line in Disney!
Has anyone else ever felt they lost their motivation or drive? What did you do to get it back?