Sunday, January 11, 2009

Losing Motivation

Have you ever thought about quitting running? Usually, I am the champion of motivation. I'm the one people go to for cheering and encouragement, be it running, weight loss or some other self improvement. And, I love that role, and am usually pretty good at it.

But, have you ever been out on a run.. or just in your normal daily routine, and you think, "Why am I doing this?"

My reasons for running have evolved as my running has evolved. And something that I don't talk about (yet), is the original reason I began to run. That reason has never gone away, but somewhere along the line, I fell in love with running--and it took on a whole new meaning.

I remember how obsessed I was when I couldn't run because of the tibial stress fracture.

But today, I had a crappy run (more mental than physical). Really, I have nothing to measure it against (left the Garmin at home), other than the fact I was pre-occupied, and wondered why I was even bothering. And the run felt harder than it probably should have. And then I wondered if I ever would or even could get any better as a runner.

What do you do on those days that you lose motivation? Surely, I'm not the only one with "off" days. Please leave me a comment or send me an email. Maybe you can help me--and others--when we find ourselves with less motivation than needed to keep on keepin' on!

9 comments:

Rick said...

Alex,

Don't let one bad run get you down, they happen. Your progress since you recovered from your tsf has been amazing. I can only hope mine goes so well. You just ran your longest run since you have been back yesterday, so cut yourself just a little slack today. Hang in there, you're amazing!

Nagana said...

Hi -
similarly to You (or so it seems), I am an enthusiast in life, and whatever thing i pick, I am there and wanting to share with everyone and motivating others -
What i have noticed is that people like You (??) and me in general hardly can keep this level of emotional tension on one thing for long long periods - (meaning over months and years).
With running for me is different though, it is the pace of running and the pace of progress and the pace of the benefit of it that dictate everything and You have to learn to dedicate and let the ACTIVITY do the job -
I hardly have a day in which I really did not feel like running, what I have learnt is that if I am able to make mine this awareness of discomfort and take it with me, in the outside it is better. Actually I have learnt to imagine myself going out and running not as an act of "figthing" it but rather .. accompany myself out with this awareness and at the same time try to concentrate on the woods I run into, the smiles of the people waking their dogs while i run .. but letting myself BE in discomfort without really figthing it. I dont know if i have been able to express the thought as i wanted, as it is a rather elusive feeling and .. on top of that i am writing from the off. But i can write You if YOu like, and yes .. You are doing great. And we follow You. A ray of sun from a cold winter italian day

runner-grrl said...

Thanks, you two! I really appreciate your comments. I'm in a low spot right now... there's some really good advice in your comments. I'm going to keep re-reading them for help. --Alex

Everett said...

Alex, clearly the reason you run is very personal, so I may be way off base here. But my guess is that it's not much different from my own, which is simple but powerful: we (continue to) run to celebrate that we can, because someday there will be a day when we can't.

Trust me on this. I've been close to seeing the bright light. Having days or weeks or even months of bad runs pales in comparison to the prospect of never seeing the sun come up again.

runner-grrl said...

Everett, Thanks for your comments here. Interesting that both you and Nagana poetically reference the sun :-). I'm doing a little better today... My routine has been disrupted by a family emergency that developed last night and that's required me to hop on a plane this morning. I think this might spring me out of my funk.

I appreciate everyone's kind words and thoughts! It's been a tough week for me :-)

Sean said...

Hi Alex

I too like your blog, and I too am finding it hard to get going this year... I have a half marathon in a couple of months and I'm still in holiday mode... If you'd like some running music have a look at AudioFuel.co.uk. I was one of the founders, if you want Adrenaline Junkie free of charge just let me know - that could sort you out... now there is just me...

Go well

Sean

Contact: Sean (AT) Audiofuel dot co dot uk

runner-grrl said...

Sean,

Thanks for leaving a comment. I think I might address an entry in the near future of some ideas on how to get through such stints of "low drive"...

I'm going to check out your audiolink. New music definitely sounds like a good idea!

Best wishes on your half marathon. Which one are you running?

Sean said...

Hi Alex

I'm doing the Reading Half Marathon, I did a gentle run this morning, and am paying for the excesses of the Christmas holidays! - As ever, it felt great when I had finished, I LOVE that post run rosie cheekes feeling I get after running. Another gentle one tomorrow before cranking it up slowly. I read an interesting post on someones blog which basically suggested 'beware of goals that are too stretching' - the loss of motivation on not achieving a goal can be a high price. Yet another message to be 'here now' present in the now, not off on a headtrip of some kind.

If you like what AudioFuel sounds like I'll send you some free...

Go well

Sean

runner-grrl said...

Sean,

I finally had a chance to check out AudioFuel sample on the website, and really liked it! I'm traveling now (at the airport), returning home from an unexpected trip this week. I'll try to drop you a note in the next day or two so you have my email address.

Thanks! --Alex