Monday, February 15, 2010

Runner Seeking Motivation

I've been struggling a little this morning deciding what to write about and then I decided to write about. Woody and I went to Equinox this morning for our last workout of our 3-day trial. Turns out I got an email though saying we could go again tomorrow. Need to decide if we will or not since they open half hour later than our normal gym. Anyway, after our workout we jumped on the crowded subway (Saturday schedule for the holiday), picked up apples at the farmers market and then battled our way through Trader Joe's to stock up on nourishment for the week. We finally made it home and I was famished so I had to make my breakfast (at 11am) asap.  Through all this, I still couldn't decide what to write about, but then it hit me, I should write about motivation.

I've had a bit of trouble getting motivated to run lately. It seems crazy since I have a half marathon coming up at the end of April, but it's true. I've read several blog posts lately about a lack of motivation, so perhaps it is a winter thing, but for as many posts about diminished motivation that are out there, I read even more posts about strong training runs, successful race recaps and lofty running goals. 

I think part of my problem is that for two months after the marathon I wasn't even allowed to run. My feet were completely messed up and I could hardly take a step walking without being in pain, let alone run a mile. Admittedly, that has screwed with my confidence level. While I've been consistent on the elliptical since the marathon, I've been slow to get back on the treadmill. My pace has definitely slowed and this annoys me. With the pain I was in leading up to the race and a developing stress fracture, I ran the marathon much slower than I had hoped. Without running for a few months, my pace has remained slow. I know I need to push myself to get that pace closer to where it once was, but I'm nervous about pushing it too hard and injuring myself again. I've been wearing orthotics for a few months but the one in my left shoe still isn't right and that makes running even more difficult.

Gaining back confidence after an injury can be a difficult thing, and maybe a long process. Also, getting back the motivation to run seems to be a bit difficult too. The cover story for the latest issue of Runner's World is about Kara Goucher. She's an incredible runner and this story really delves into her psyche and the struggles she has gone through during her career. While we run for two different reasons, and I never expect to win a race, I felt a bit of encouragement to hear what she has gone through with injuries and has still come back to be a winner. Maybe my life as a runner isn't over! I'm still young. Some people don't even start running until later in life. I can't let a few little injuries get me down too far. I have to fight back.

Hopefully as warmer weather approaches (it has to sometime, right?) that will help my motivation to run as well. I mean, really, who enjoys running on a treadmill when there are so many places to explore outside? I hope to get outside for a run (well, a jog, might be more accurate) later this week and see how it goes. I really am looking forward to running with my friends and enjoying the excitement of race day, but getting there is a bit more difficult than I had anticipated. I just hope I can make it through the 13 miles. (Doesn't that sound crazy when I ran 26 only a few months ago?!

So, I'm asking today for suggestions or personal experiences from all of you. What motivates you? How do you get back into the game after an injury, or series of injuries, have set you back? How do you kick yourself in the butt and get going?

10 comments:

Jocelyn said...

Motivation is always tough because different people get motivated by different things. I made a "vision board" type of thing with different pictures and inspiring storied on it. And I put my Marathon Medal next to it. Lots of prep talk and having to remind myself that I GET to run/go to the gym today, not that I HAVE to go. Hope you find your motivation soon!

Running Through Phoenix said...

I took one of your old blogs and formed an idea of writing a shame blog. http://jeffg-runningthroughphoenix.blogspot.com/

It's so darn easy for me to drop running, even when things are going well, but a look back at Fat Jeff sometimes keeps me going.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

When I lose running motivation I usually just try to FORCE myself to go. I'm always happy by the time the run is over!

My latest training plan only has me running three times a week and it works GREAT for me! I actually look forward to every run and don't suffer from running burnout that I used to get when I was running 4-5 days a week. That being said, it's not peak training time for me right now, once I get into marathon training this summer it'll be back up to 4-5 runs a week!

Morgan said...

I def think that the weather doesn't help you northerners, I mean who wants to venture out when it's freezing outside?!?!

But girl... I can't believe your confidence is waning... you FINISHED a marathon! You have it in your for a Half, you can do that in your sleep! :)

gracela said...

My yoga dvd says that showing up matters the most when you least want to. I try to remind myself of that before a run or workout, and my body thanks me for it afterward. I think someone of us let insecurities, injuries, anxiety, whatever, get in the way of us enjoying our lives. And they also prevent us from remembering that exercise is not a chore, it's a fun thing to do that makes us feel/look great. Remember that, and not "oh I need to go run because I ate a cookie today." I need to remind myself I run because it makes me feel strong and not because I want to be thin :)

Julie said...

Hi Lisa,
I think once it gets nicer outside it will motivate you to want to get out and go on runs. In the past I have read stories in magazines about people and their individual running stories..that always seems to light a fire:) You are going to be fine! I have no doubt that you will be able to do your half with out any problem:) Hang in there and keep your chin chin up! I know you can do this!!

Ashley said...

i totally understand where you are comming from. i have only ran a 1/2 but then we had a lot going on and I didn't get to run that much...and didn't really have motivation too! When i came out to cali (while my hubs is deployed) is signed up for two 1/2 marathons yet still lacked motivation. the thing that has really helped me is:
1) i am uber competitive and it seems that all my friends have started running so it makes me want to run harder and more (and reading other runners blogs)
and
2) just keep getting out there and running ...seeing my time drop or just knowing i am still able to make it through long runs keeps me going!
I don't know if that helps but I hope you are able to get back out there and enjoy it!!

J said...

i have been lucky to have only faced minor injuries throughout college but I did get sidelined after I graduated because I increased my mileage too quickly. I really try to cross train alot and give my body the chance to rest. I just listen to my body and when I feel like running I do. I guess that is not conducive to a running schedule but after being injured because I was following a schedule I just try to run what I want, when i want. I try not to forget that I love running and when it isn't fun then I need to take a step back.

Brandi said...

Dealing with cold weather is really hard. I was reminded of that this weekend when I was home in NJ, surrounded in snow. It's much easier to motivate myself to run out here in San Diego, since I can run any time of the year in shorts and a t-shirt. Recovering from an injury is hard -- I pulled a muscle in my leg and getting back to where I was and progress with the injury is hard.
But what motivates me most is having someone to run with. My boyfriend runs with me when he's around, but now that he's on the East Coast and I'm on the West Coast, I need to find a new running partner.

TallGuySurfing said...

A few things about "getting back on the horse" that I've learned.
I've seen a surfer get bit by a shark right next to me. Paddling back out to surf again was not easy, but I did.
My best friend, who taught me to fly and get my pilot's license, was in an aviation accident and was killed. Getting back in the cockpit again was not easy, but I did, although a poor economy has stopped me from flying much recently.
And most recently, like you, I suffered a running injury (acute torn Achilles) that hampered me from running an "up to speed" marathon.
Right now I think I'm dealing with some of the same issues you might be having. For one, it's easy to blame the weather, but I know deep down inside there's that familiar feeling of fear or reluctance to push the intensity of the activity (running), which injured me in the first place, back to par. However, after a few recent runs and plenty of rest and rehab I think I'm realizing that I just may.... just may come back stronger than before. You just have to get back on the horse, but be smart about it at the same time, which you are!
Oh, and I posted the leg work out you asked about in yesterday's post. :-) And the idea of shopping at a NYC farmer's market makes me hungry!