Thursday, 11 April 2019

Back At It

I'm happy to report that, since we last spoke, I've more or less returned to my normal running schedule. And while I've definitely not reached a point where I can say that I'm overflowing with either energy or enthusiasm for running, I'm certainly happy to be back out there and moving.

So what has changed? What got me out of one of the biggest running ruts I've ever been in? A few things, actually:

1. More rest. In my last post, I mentioned that I haven't run in 14 days. And while that's a lot by most standards, my body was still dog-tired. So I rested some more. I took two more days completely off running and, lo and behold, by Day 16 a tiny flicker of passion returned. Selah.

2. Revisiting some parkrun goals. In the past, chasing up the official parkrun milestone clubs really motivated me to be consistent and keep running. But currently, I'm finding myself in no man's land as far as the clubs go. My next milestone (Club 250) is still 1.5 years of consistent parkrunning away, which is proving to be just a tad too far to be immediately motivating. So I had a good look at the unofficial parkrun challenges instead. To my delight, I noticed that I'm only three parkruns away from earning my single-ton badge (100 parkruns completed at a single parkrun venue), which instantly spurred me on to get out there and get it done. 

I'm in the middle, with the pink top, sporting my "remind me again what I'm doing here at 8 o'clock on a freezing Saturday morning?"-face.
I'm also only three new venues away from earning my tourist badge, and very close to completing the (frustratingly tricky) bingo challenge. Which means that I have plenty to focus on until Club 250 comes within reach.

3. New gear. The old "new running socks trick" does it again! My bestie recently sent me the funkiest pair of hot purple trail running socks all the way from South Africa, just in time to kick my moping butt out of its funk. They make me want to lace up right now.

4. Tentatively identifying two new goal races. Many of you confirmed that having no goal races to work towards is a sure-fire way to lose motivation. And while I haven't officially entered any races yet, apart from a small, local 10K this coming weekend, I've tentatively identified two very hairy and super scary goal events for later in the year. Both of them are completely out of my comfort zone, and exactly what I need to get my head back in the game. I'll keep you posted!  

5. New reading material. There's something about a well-written account of a fellow runner's struggles and triumphs that makes me want to tackle my own battles head-on. So I headed to the library and re-stocked my stash - it's a good one! 

6. Trickery and tough love. I've found over the years that, once I've ruled out overtraining/real exhaustion as the root of a running rut, I often have to put on my big girl pants and drag myself out the door for a run. Or trick myself into doing one. So, on Monday, I booked our car in for a service and politely declined when the dealer offered to drop me off at home. Which forced me to take a slow and easy jog back to the house. And you know what? I'm glad I did.

7. You. Your advice and encouragement have been invaluable in getting me off my butt and out the door. Thank you for running this race with me!


  1. There, I told you you'd be back. Never trust negative feelings for they invariably tell lies!
    I'm currently reading Kilian Jornet's book 'Run or Die' the title of which is a wonderful mantra, don't you think?

    1. You were (once again!) spot on, Gordon - and very thankfully so! I've since also learned that my iron levels are quite low, hence the constant tiredness, so I'm working hard on sorting that out too.

      Jornet's book sounds like a fascinating read - I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it!

  2. Great post. I've been there too earlier this year and another thing that really helped me was to put my watch aside and just find that joy in moving again. I am quite competitive and tracking/knowing my statistics all the time didn't help me. So it was just me and my dog for almost two month! At some point I started to want to track again and now I'm fully back in training while being motivated.

    1. Great advice, Julia - I completely agree. I've also been on a rediscovery of sorts for the past month or so - but for me it boiled down to getting away from social media for a while. I think that constantly looking at everyone else's PBs and achievements put me under (self-inflicted) pressure to keep on performing too. So I got away from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and just rediscovered why it was that I fell in love with running in the first place. And I've been focusing on that ever since. It really brought back some of the joy for me too!


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