Monday, July 22, 2013

The Renegade of (Running) Funk

Sometimes, in life, you get into funks. 

 Not this kind of funk though - this is the good kind.

Funks can reach all levels of life and can sometimes be interpreted as burn-out. Whether it's a dead-end job or a writer's block or a weight loss plateau, we've all gotten into ruts of some form. Things aren't what they used to be, you no longer see progress, and fun activities no longer seem fun. 

It also can take it's toll on running.

I had been battling the running funk for a few weeks. Maybe it was the summer heat, or maybe it was borderline burnout. I tried new playlists. I tried running with no music at all. I tried running with friends. I tried bartering with myself (if you can run this entire route at goal pace, we can have Yogurtology later!) but nothing seemed to be working. 

And let's be honest, I had that frozen yogurt anyway. To drown my sorrows, of course.


So, I did the unthinkable: I took a week off.


Yes. It's true.

Every run I was embarking on just wasn't fun anymore. I was stopping every few miles, pausing my Garmin, trying to re-energize myself. I was taking unnecessarily long water breaks. I was late going out the door and having to cut runs short. I started making excuses.

 I needed to do some serious re-focusing. 

I've been on a routine training schedule since March, and that doesn't include the multitude of half marathons that came before that. I also delved into another round of marathon training immediately after the Newport Marathon.

I haven't had a "break" in what seems like an eternity.

So, for 7 days, I did nothing. Not one trip to the gym, not one lacing-up of the Brooks. 


I wasn't sure what to expect. I was definitely antsy, but nothing like the taper tantrums of marathons past. I wasn't as hungry and ate meals much more similar to my peers instead of Michael Phelps. I didn't have nearly as much stinky laundry piling up. I didn't have to set my alarm for 4:45 AM.

By the end of my time off, I missed running. Missing something means you want it, so it was the exact feeling I wanted to achieve.  

And guess what? My first run back, I hit negative splits and felt great doing it.
And didn't even have to bribe myself with frozen yogurt.

Moral of this post -- don't be afraid to give yourself a break. Sometimes, not only do you deserve it, but you also need it.


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