….and My Story Runs On….
Confessions of a Running Coach….
Well, as I expected, it finally happened…it took awhile and I didn’t want it to happen but I knew it would rear it’s ugly head sooner or later..I can’t believe I’m saying it but part of the reason for this blog is sharing my running story so I can help you with yours…
I’ve felt it coming in the last few weeks but ignored it…finally on my training run yesterday, it happened…I just started walking because I was done with running…I couldn’t muster up any physical or mental strength to run..I was trying to cram in a bunch of miles before I take a weekend vacation and miss those training miles that are scheduled on my calendar for the next 50K. This morning was the same, I taught track and was supposed to run 8 miles but I walked 3 instead.
YES, I think it’s official, I AM BURNED OUT.
I was afraid this would happen during my 50 Mile training and I’m glad that it did not. However, here I am, 4 months after the 50 miler and I’m training for another 50K….come to think of it, I’ve been training for ultra races since September of 2015 (today is 6/16/16).
I wonder how I could allow this to happen but as I reflect, I know exactly how it happened:
- I was afraid to lose all that conditioning
- A few friends were running Crown King a few months later, so why not?
- Then that race was over and another friend said, let’s do Capitol Reef 50K on 7/9/16….so why not?
Well, now I know why not…because here I am, 3 weeks before the race, trying to follow a training plan to get in my miles done as outlined in my training plan…and I am no longer having fun. Am I still doing the 50K? Of course, I am! But here is what I am learning in the process.
Signs of Running Burnout
- Running has become a chore. I am just putting my runs on my calendar trying to get my mileage in because I “have” to. Running is nowhere near as fun as it has been for me.
- Tired physically and mentally which tells me I am overdoing it. I just got back from an awesome working vacation in MA that involved running and I was re-energized…until I came back home and “had” to start running again to get back on my training plan.
- Moody and irritated. This is not like me as I am usually a happy person. Everything seems to annoy me lately.
I am not backing out of my race at this point as I paid for it and I am looking forward to running an ultra in another state with my friends. But here is how I will handle my next 3 weeks…
Dealing with this Running Burnout
- Mini vacation that involves no running. I am going to the beach for 2 days and taking a break from all things running.
- Listen to my body. I am grateful that I have learned this throughout my running story. I was kind to myself yesterday when I decided to cut my run short by 4 miles and walk several miles instead of running. I will be short 15 miles this week in my training plan and I am totally OK with that. I know I am trained well, I have my ChiRunning form behind me, and I am going to enjoy the rest of this journey. If my body is tired, I am going to rest and try to get more sleep as well. I will not be a slave to my training plan anymore.
- Changing it up. I have already been doing this but will continue to do it over the next few weeks. I am going to run in different areas and do more fun/social runs.
- Focus on different aspects of the race. I will read more blog reports, look at more pictures/videos from past years and get excited about the new scenery I will be enjoying in a few weeks.
- Focus on other things about running that don’t involve actually running. I love learning new things about running. So much to learn! I will finish reading The Oxygen Advantage book on the beach. This book has a lot of great insight about breathing and I’ve really been enjoying it.
What will I do after the 50K? Taking a break from training for ultras for a bit. This is easier said than done as I’ve defined myself as an ultra runner now and it’s been part of my being (personally and professionally) since last September. A friend of mine laughed when I said this as she said, “you said that after your 50 miler”. Yes, I admit that I did…but I wasn’t clearly in the same place as I am right now. I am ready for a break. I don’t know how long of a break I am taking but I know I don’t like this feeling. I want to completely refresh my view on running. I am going to focus on shorter distances and run for fun, not because I have any races coming up. I love to focus on my ChiRunning form and will work on other aspects of this, maybe speed and performance.
What I do know is that I am grateful for the things I am learning in my running story as most everything applies to life as well (and I can share with you in hopes that you don’t get to this point!). I also know that next time a friend asks me to do an ultra race, I need to really think about the WHY rather than just agreeing to do something for F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out)…this is an entire other blog post but very easy to get wrapped up in when most of your friends are runners and you want to do what they are all doing! 😉
Now, off to pack my beach bag…no running attire…no running equipment…no running shoes…but a bathing suit, some flip flops and a big smile on my face 😉
From My Running Story to Yours….
(if you feel inspired to share your comments, do so below…I want to hear your story too!)