I’m sure all of us runners have had a time or two when we have absolutely no motivation to run. We all love to run (or we probably wouldn’t be doing it!), but sometimes the hardest thing is just getting out there and doing it. Some days, nothing at all can make us lace up our running shoes, put on our running gear and get out there to run ANY distance! I know I had this feeling after my first half marathon last July. I quickly trained in a little over a month for that race as I had signed up at pretty much the last minute. In that time span, I put in more miles than I ever had in my life. I didn’t feel like it was too much when I was training, but looking back now it’s probably the reason why I experienced a little bit of burnout after that half.
On top of the half, I also did a 10K six days later, and the following week I was so exhausted – mentally and physically. The thought of running seemed just awful and nothing could get me out there! When I would try, my legs felt so tired and my pace was beyond slow. My next half marathon wasn’t for 3 months, so I was in no rush to start training again. So I took about 2 weeks off, I would run here and there but it would only be for a couple of (slow) miles at a time.
But then the time came when I had to start taking running and training seriously again if I wanted to be in shape for the next half marathon. Having a race to train for is great motivation in itself, but I needed an extra push to get me back out there at full speed. So, since I work at the library, I decided to look up some books that I could check out that would provide me with that motivation. I checked out a couple, and most of them ended up being kind of preachy and made running seem so easy. I just couldn’t relate.
Then I came across the book – “Running Like a Girl” by Alexandra Heminsley. The title was the first thing that caught my eye because obviously I’m a girl and a runner. Perfect! I read it in about a day and it not only inspired me, but it made me realize I wasn’t alone in my struggles with running. The author speaks first hand about her experiences with running and those experiences are SO relatable! She started off not being a runner at all to taking on the challenge of a full marathon in something like 6 months! She detailed everything that every runner goes through – not knowing how to pick out the right running shoes, feeling intimidated by other runners, struggling with self doubt about the challenge of completing the marathon, and so much more. I would really recommend the book not only to people looking for motivation, but just to runners (especially females) in general.
The book definitely helped me get back out there and achieve an even better time in my second half marathon. I haven’t really struggled with lack of motivation lately, because I know that if I don’t get my training runs in, I’m going to really struggle to finish all 26.2 miles come June. Plus, my “long runs” now feel like nothing compared to the runs I have coming up for me in my marathon training schedule!
Right now, the main thing I have struggled with is the difficult training runs that are focused on improving speed that I have built into my half marathon training schedule. I have never really focused on speed work before and never have pushed myself so hard with my running. As anyone who has done speed work before knows – it is TOUGH! But again, I just tell myself during these hard runs, that these are what will make me beat my previous best half marathon time. I realize they will be so worth it come April 27th! So I just keep going! And you should too!