For this week’s Tuesdays on the Run, Patty from My No-Guilt Life, Erika from MCM Mama Runs and I are taking the proverbial path less traveled to discuss running breaks. It was kind of funny that when this topic was brought up, all three of us just happened to be in the middle of a break from our running schedules.
I’ve taken running breaks for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s a planned taper that just lasts a week or so. Sometimes it’s a recovery from a big race (or series of races. Sometimes it’s due to an injury that needs some rest to heal. And my current running break is due entirely to a combo of burn out and the early arrival of the summer heat and bugs in Florida.
I’ve been running for about two and a half years now and have truly lost my mojo. I think there are a lot of reasons that I’m in a running funk but the biggest one is that I’m slower now than I was a year ago. My training has been inconsistent and I’ve regained about twenty pounds which means I’m definitely not getting PRs at the moment. Yes, I love to run for the experience and I love the friends I’ve made and I love the fun of a race but I have a deep seated competitive streak and I want to win. If I can’t beat everyone else, I need to at least beat my previous record! It’s hard to get out there and run when I am so far behind where I’ve been before.
So, needless to say, my running break was unplanned and unscheduled. I did get out and run twice while I was at the beach on vacation last week. Now I just have to get my rear in gear and run again now that I’m back to the “real world” with work and meetings and laundry.
So how do I get out of this running slump and end the break?
- Sign up for a new race. I’m trying to figure out how to make the Rebel Challenge at Disneyland work. Having a big ticket race that is new to me is definitely something that could add some excitement back to my running.
- Find an inspiring movie. I’m going to re-watch Spirit of the Marathon and McFarland USA and maybe something new!
- Team up. I need to find someone to be a running buddy. Whether it’s someone local or an online friend, I need an accountability partner or team.
- Get faster. I know myself and finding a way to get my speed up (down?) is going to be the biggest inspiration for me. When I get a PR, I am just on top of the world. And that feeling motivates me to try even harder. So, I need to train consistently and get my diet under control.