Tuesday, March 31, 2009

How the Mighty Have Fallen

Not so long ago, I was at the top of my game. I was blazing out tempo runs and track workouts, then turning around and rocking out 10 miles at sub-9:00 pace. I was amazing, Kenyan-fast, invincible!

Then, it turned out that I was very much... vincible.

My fall from grace started with a 4 mile tempo run. To put it succinctly, I sucked. I felt slow, heavy, and leaden. I couldn't step things up to save my life. What should have been a relatively easy run turned into a slog.

I tried to shake it off. We are all allowed one bad run, right? I resolved to make my next run as fun as possible. I was scheduled to do a 5 x 1K track workout, so to mix things up, I ran on the path by the river, rather than on the track. That way I'd have beautiful scenery to admire, geese to dodge... all that good stuff.

It turned out that run sucked, too.

It was ridiculously cold out, and within minutes, my frozen paws were shoved into my gloves and my butt felt numb. The wind was so strong that I had to bend my head forward to drive into it. 5 x 1K turned into 5 x "Okay, I can run to that tree up there and then stop."

I have said a million times that everyone can have a bad run every now and again, and I mean it. But two in a row really felt lousy. I was in a bad mood all day, and on Sunday, I decided to skip my long run. It was still cold and windy out, and I wanted no part of yet another discouraging workout.

I really need to get my running mojo back. Complicating matters is the fact that I am in Minnesota for three days this week, so my normal routine is thrown off. My plan is to get in two runs while I'm here and to just make them fun. To hell with distance, pace, all of that. I need to get out there and feel good about it, period.

Today was the first attempt, and I can only give it a C-. Cold weather and wind are still plotting against me, and rather than face my kryptonite, I headed for the treadmill in the hotel gym. Running on the treadmill is un-fun by definition, but I really needed to get my legs moving. I mixed it up a bit by throwing in some fact quarter miles.

It felt okay. Not great, not strong, not invicible, but okay. Which is at least better than lousy.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

What about you? How do you regain your running mojo?


Sandy said...

You just described my entire season Betsy! I kept having bad runs, and kept telling myself that the next one was going to be a good one, and then it sucked, or if it didn't suck something hurt or I was slower than I wanted to be. Then I started skipping runs. Then I got frustrated at myself for skipping runs.

How did I get my mojo back? I ran a marathon in only 1 minute over my PR at the end of that horrible season. Now I'm excited again and can't wait for the 3 races I have lined up in April and May. And whereas I was looking at one more TNT season and then a break, I'm excited for next year's Shamrock Marathon, and it's only been 9 days since this year's!

I hope your slump doesn't last as long as mine did, but I have no doubt you will find the thing that will pull you out of it!

Roisin said...

I've been in the same situation, and I have to say there's nothing that I've done personally to be able to get the mojo back. I just kept running and eventually, a good run comes along! Keeping an open mind and not being to fatalistic going into each run definitely helps speed that process along though!

Lara Robinson said...

Usually when my running sucks (like TODAY for example) I eat a little too much chocolate as consolation, sit my butt on the couch to read, and go to bed early for two or three days in a row. After that, I'm usually in a much better space. I think what it usually means is that I'm just really flat-out tired, and I need to back off and relax.