When I started running it was just to try something different. Sure, I did a few 5Ks that first year because it’s exciting to stand at the start line and always feels good to cross the finish line. But I was perfectly happy just running once or twice a week to add some variety to my workouts.
Then I trained for my first half marathon. The feeling – the runner’s high maybe – that I felt after completing those long runs was something I wanted to keep chasing. The adrenaline from a longer race was something I was seeking. I was hooked. I kept looking for that next challenge, that next distance, that next reason to get out there and run 10 miles or more. The only motivation I needed was an excuse to go long.
Since May of 2010 I have completed:
– countless 5Ks
– 2 10Ks
– 3 15Ks
– 7 half marathons
– 1 full marathon
– 4 sprint triathlons
– 1 olympic triathlon
Looking at it like that makes it seem like kind of a lot in just over three years.
For the first time in this span I don’t feel the drive. At. All. I should have seen it coming since this is the first year I’ve felt real burnout during training. And I think my mind was giving me hints after last year’s marathon-a-season challenge. But it feels like it happened overnight. It feels like I went from being excited about running long and pushing hard to looking for ways to avoid it. I have no desire to train for a time goal. I have no desire to push for a new challenge. I’m not even very excited about the thought of running for more than an hour… ever.
I’ve got a half marathon that I’m already scheduled for this fall. I’ll do the training to make sure I can run it comfortably and have fun with it. But I really think I’m ready to back off – to make running just a workout – at least for a while. I’m not saying I’m done doing races. But I’m reminded of what I told myself at the beginning of this year – it’s time to run just for fun. I don’t think I listened to that voice very well (and I don’t regret that because then I wouldn’t have conquered the Oly Tri) but I am ready to listen now. If a fun race comes up, a chance to run with friends or run someplace beautiful or exciting – I’m all in. Otherwise, I think it’s time to stop sucking up 2-3 hours of my weekend with one workout.
I’m not going to say I’ve lost my mojo because that implies I’m missing it and expecting it to come back. I think I’ve honestly moved into a different phase with my running. I think I need something different from it now. I’m going to be honest, the feeling is a little weird but I think it will all settle in my mind soon. I know there are still adventures to be had from this running and biking and swimming. I’m just not sure what they are.