Monday, April 25, 2011

Losing Steam

After a PR marathon in February, a PR half-marathon in March, and then a brutally hot marathon in April, I think I am feeling a little burned out.  Not only physically, but mentally as well.  Lately I have lacked the motivation, the interest and even the desire to get out and run.  It is unpleasant to say the least.  Especially when Easter candy abounds.

There are several 10k races coming up and all of them are favorites of mine.  I had planned to get serious about some speed work and hill training after recovering from the April 9th marathon but...I have lost the drive to get after it and as the dates approach, I shrug my shoulders and simply hope for the best.

I know this kind of thing happens.  I know I can't go at it hard and fast and expect my body and mind to continue indefinitely.  I wish I could, but the truth is I need a break.

So what is a girl to do in order to get past the post-marathon blues?  How do I get my steam back and what do I do in the interim?  Well, I've got a plan.

1.  Gym Classes - I know I mentioned this already, but these things really help.  They work different muscles than the ones I use to run, burn calories and help me keep my fitness level up.  They are fun too and that keeps me coming back.

2.  Jump Roping - I recently bought a jump rope from Target and I spend about 10-20 minutes on the back patio a few afternoons a week.  It is much more of a workout than I realized, and I have discovered that I can even do a few tricks.  Of really hurts when I whack myself with the rope is new and different so for now, it is working.

3.  The Push Up Challenge - I think I overshot just a bit in starting this challenge at Level 3, so I'm starting over TODAY at Level 2.  I think if I make it too hard too soon I'll give up.  I wrote about this challenge a few days ago, but it consists of 3 short workouts a week and promises to get one to 100 push ups by the end of 6 weeks...we shall see.

4.  Leaning on my Friends - I've got a GREAT group of running gals here in Madison, and a few others as well who don't run with my morning crew.  Sometimes it is not so much about the run, but getting to spend time with them that gets me out the door.  When I begin to feel burnout, spending time with them is the only thing that helps me get in the miles I need.  I am so grateful for the blessing of good friends who also like to run. 

5.  Permission to Rest - I know the four things above seem to be continuing the fight against rest, when what I really need is more of it but I only include those things as a way to sort of fake it till I make it.  I also have to give myself permission to rest - and that includes my mind as well as my legs.  Stop watching the clock (or the watch).  Stop demanding high weekly mileage (and feeling bad when I don't get it).  Enjoy the friends, the scenery, the music, the sweat.  Rest in mind, body and spirit.

That is what I'm going to have to be about until my steam is restored.  I'm not sure how long that will be, but I think I'm at peace with the process.  As for the 10ks approaching...I will approach them with peace and joy as well.  And who knows...that might be exactly what I need.


  1. Hey Janie! I can relate! I have told you that I had very little motivation to run the past few weeks since the race and when I did, it wasn't pretty. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Your plan sounds perfect. I really enjoyed spin today and had very little numbness in my foot, yay!! I think I will start this once a week, and adding swimming once a week. I felt great after spin and did a quick mile on the treadmill before I picked Leah up in the childcare room. Hope the Sunday run works out!

  2. I totally and completely understand - I've been feeling drained of all energy lately, too. I think giving yourself permission to just "be" is so essential to a healthy mind and body. I've started saying no to things that I truly don't want/need to do, and yes to some time spent resting. And reading, of course. :o)

    I know you'll have your steam back in no time!

  3. I like the "and reading" part. I used to be SUCH an avid reader - almost like you but I've let it slip away, which is something that really shocks me. I'm getting back into it though. There is nothing like getting lost in a good book!!! (All I need is a cat!)