I know I’m not the only one who goes through periods where running feels like a chore. It’s almost May, and I’m wondering where the passion I finished my 2017 ultra race season with has been hiding.
This year’s been off to a weird start. So far, I’ve skipped the only two races I was planning to run, one because I was snowed in and the other because I was overloaded with work. More and more, writing assignments and other responsibilities I didn’t have last year are pushing running further down my personal priority list. On top of that, my favorite trail sisters are injured.
All these things and more have me less than stoked
I know it’s still there, I just need to hang tough while I search for it.
It’s probably hiding with my damn wireless mouse.
In the meantime, this is how I cope:
Do other things
Sometimes, your body needs to shake up the routine. This is important for so many reasons. Not only does it prevent boredom, but it giving your body a break from the usual can help prevent overuse injuries runners are so dang prone to.
Move different parts. Try something you never had time to because you were too busy running. Stand on your head. Wrestle your fears to the ground.
Just change something.
This year, I promised myself I’d learn to ski and climb. Very proud to say I tried both those things and really love skiing.
I almost wet my pants climbing because my fear of heights is real, but I’m not giving up, yet.
(In fact, I’m going again this Wednesday.)
I also found a really great yoga class taught by my fellow ultrarunner and total badass, Courtney Chase. It’s literally just what my body needs.
Prevent injuries while you’re ahead
Clamshells, monster walks, kettlebells, TRX, and planks, planks, planks. Stretching, Epsom salt baths, foam rolling, and massage.
These beautiful, wonderful exercises are called prehab (I learned that from a physical therapy practice I wrote web content for.)
When I’m running like crazy, I can get too tired, or lazy to do put effort into giving my body the care it really needs. Now that I’m averaging less than 40 miles per week, I have no excuses not to devote time to reinforcing my core and working out the kinks that could lead to serious inflammation down the road.
Save money, make money
Races can be expensive. Then there’s the cost of getting there, maybe lodging, maybe dog sitting. Shit ain’t cheap.
Way Too Cool was supposed to be my first race this year, but I didn’t go due to a snow storm.
Sure, I was bummed. WTC was, by far, the most ridiculously expensive race I’ve ever registered for. (I haven’t run many races.)
But, as soon as I canceled my hotel reservation, I landed 2 writing gigs that collectively brought in 4x the amount I paid for the race! Not gonna lie, I was more excited about the work than dismayed about missing the race.
After three years of relentless striving to figure out how to make a living as a freelance writer, I now have a thriving career.
Honestly, getting to this point has felt like the longest, hardest ultra I’ve ever run. But now I’m cruising and feeling good, enjoying this sense of accomplishment while it lasts.
Don’t beat yourself up
I know it’s tempting to. Trust me, I love a good self-flagellation now and then.
But it really doesn’t help things.
Some days are tough. Some workouts are really tedious.
I’ve definitely felt disappointed in my running a few (dozen) times this year. Or disappointed in my performance, or my body’s abilities in general.
When this happens, I try to do something nice for myself, such as:
- Take a bath
- Take a nap
- Put on some eye glitter and turn up Lil Kim
Whatever makes you feel good, do that, and remember you can always try again tomorrow.
On that note, I’m still planning to run Paiute Meadows 50k in a few weeks. In fact, I’m stoked about it. Oh, shit! There’s my stoke!
I leave you with this gem:
ps- I just made a new Facebook page for this site. Please feel free to like and share!